About the Owners
When Rob Kistler and Barb Bond met in 2003, they were both nearing the end of long and successful first careers. After Rob graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, he moved to Portland where he founded an architectural consulting firm. His expertise is in engineering and design of building envelopes (facades), to protect interior spaces from the vagaries of the external environment. Barb was a professor of forest ecology at Oregon State University.
Rob and Barb discovered that their very different professions led them to some surprisingly similar passions and perspectives, from treasuring both natural and man-made beauty, to a nerdy pleasure in science and technology, to a passion for honesty and integrity. But it was their common love of laughter and playfulness that really tied them together. They travelled together through South America, Europe and China. During an extended trip to Italy where they stayed at small, rural inns, they had an epiphany: they wanted to spend the rest of their lives living in a beautiful, rural area on a small farm with its own vineyard! Later that trip, in a restaurant in Cinque Terre overlooking the Mediterranean, they clinked wine glasses and declared themselves married.
Returning home, they took long drives through the countryside of the north Willamette Valley, relishing the beauty of the rolling hillsides, discovering the outstanding wineries of the region, and seeking their dream. Finally, in 2009, they found their perfect spot in Amity on a hillside with a spectacular view, and it even had its own small vineyard (named Bois Joli– French for pretty woods– by the original owners who planted it in 1983). Rob and Barb bought his-and-hers tractors, learned to grow wine grapes, accumulated a menagerie of farm animals, and explored their new community. When Rob sold his home in Portland, Barb thought it would be fun to invest some of the proceeds in a run-down but potentially-lovely, old building in downtown Amity. After all, Rob was an architect who loved challenging projects, so he’d probably love it, right? And by revitalizing the building, perhaps they could help the entire community. Rob went along with the idea, although truth be known, it wasn’t always all that fun. But they persevered, and they are proud of what they accomplished. They hope the renewed building is inspirational to locals and visitors alike. We welcome you to Amity Flats.