CREATIVE COMPANY, FROM SALEM TO MCMINNVILLE

 

Established in Salem in 1978, the marketing and branding firm relocated to McMinnville, to this historic house, at the beginning of 2001.

When the lease was up at the company’s Salem location, it was time to look for new space. Ideally that space would reduce commute time for owner, Jennifer Larsen Morrow, and provide a new creative setting. A house instead of a more traditional office was a welcome change.

New ownership for 726 NE Fourth

In 2000, Trenton and Jennifer Morrow purchased the house and the cottage next door from John Surrett and his wife, Carol, who had owned both since 1981. Between 1981 and 1992, John served as chef of La Maison Surrette, a French restaurant the couple ran on weekends in the same old home that now houses La Bistro Maison.

Between 1993 and 2000, the restaurant and home on Third Street were leased to other chefs and managers. In fact, Trenton, Jennifer, their daughter and Jennifer’s grandmother were frequent diners at Third Street Grille, which is how they discovered the house at 726 Fourth Street when it was put up for sale.

John Surrett remodeled 726 Fourth and rented it as office space during his ownership. When Jennifer was looking for office space for Creative Company closer to her home in Sheridan, McMinnville was an obvious choice. By purchasing the two properties at 726 NE Fourth and 730 NE Fourth, Creative Company had a new home in McMinnville.

Creative Company christmas light

Holiday lights at night

Creative Company cat

Molly the office cat, hard at work

Creative Company moved from Salem between Christmas and New Year’s 2000 to 2001. The cottage next door at 730 became a residential rental and Creative Company, with minor updates for computer networking and door frames, began its new chapter at 726 NE Fourth.

Jennifer and daughter, Katie, moving in early 2001

Jennifer and daughter, Katie, moving in early 2001

Banners hung on the front porch identified Creative Company’s home

Banners identified the office with “Marketing Brains. Creative Soul.”

Creative Company and the branding of McMinnville

Soon after the move, Creative Company was branding companies and organizations in McMinnville, in addition to working with clients in Salem and the Northwest. Many are shown in the logo displays in the entry and dining room.

 
  • The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce logo was redesigned

  • Hagan Hamilton Insurance acquired a more “zippy” identity system

  • City Sanitary became Western Oregon Waste and the gold WOW trucks were branded

  • Linfield College recruited students with a “play, grow, learn” theme and new suite of marketing materials

  • First Federal received a brand refresh and cemented their local positioning with the theme “We’re Here”

McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce logo Hagan Hamilton Insurance WOW logo Linfield College logo First Federal logo

 

Staff of Creative Company also discovered the ambiance of McMinnville and the many places close by for a working or casual lunch. Jennifer got involved and served on marketing committees for the Chamber and the McMinnville Downtown Association, charged with “Caring for Oregon’s Favorite Main Street.”

Creative Company Hawaii style party

An Aloha party in the parking lot in 2004

CC Staff

The team on the front steps

When the lodging tax was introduced in 2014 to provide funds to promote tourism, the downtown association chose Creative Company to design and implement the first wine and culinary tourism campaign, dubbed “Taste Mac” in 2015.

Downsizing and reinventing

The Taste Mac campaign was just a first step in the rapid growth of tourism to McMinnville. With a downsized Creative Company due to economic changes, in 2016 Jennifer chose to move the office to the cottage next door and convert 726 NE Fourth to a vacation rental. Great idea, yes?

A year of remodeling and updates, multiple moves of furniture and new antiques and the vacation rental opened early April, 2017.

Is it time for you to visit McMinnville?

Of course it is! And the historic home at 726 NE Fourth Street can be yours for a weekend getaway or a relaxing week or two in beautiful, eclectic and enticing McMinnville.

Bring food to stock the kitchen, or shop locally. Explore new tastes and flavors at the many restaurants close by, or sip and taste your way through Oregon’s best concentration of wineries and tasting rooms. There’s no shortage of shopping, galleries, museums and places to explore, either.

 

BOOK YOUR STAY AT 726 FOURTH

 

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