The dramatic success of the Blanchards is due in part to the diverse backgrounds of these married business partners. Raised in New York City, Melinda grew up cooking, often creating sumptuous and original culinary delights to serve at her mother’s social gatherings. Hundreds of miles away in Peacham, Vermont, her future husband was growing up surrounded by the richness of country themes and values. While Melinda was learning how to turn out the perfect soufflé, Bob was mastering fine carpentry and developing talents in art and merchandising learned from his father who tended Peacham’s General Store.
As successful entrepreneurs, authors and lifestyle experts, Bob and Melinda Blanchard passionately live what they love. Throughout their 46 years of marriage, they’ve discovered that much of the joy is in the journey, relishing the opportunity to take risks in order to live their dreams. They met in college where they both studied psychology, married during their senior year, and began careers in social service. With their toddler son, Jesse, they settled in Norwich, Vermont and launched their first business venture – a retail store offering gourmet housewares and kitchen supplies. The business immediately flourished and made a profit. But after three years, the Blanchards yearned for the excitement of starting again. It became clear that they loved the challenge of creating new businesses more than the everyday operation once things were established.
Together, the Blanchards have created and run eleven independent businesses from the ground up. They’ve launched several successful companies in areas of personal interest including toys, ski equipment, kitchen products and a multimillion-dollar line of gourmet sauces and dressings called Blanchard & Blanchard & Son.
After decades of successful entrepreneurship and quiet New England living, Bob and Melinda decided to turn life upside down and inside out. As lifestyle entrepreneurs, they opened the widely celebrated Blanchards Restaurant on the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla. The Blanchards’ book, A Trip to the Beach, now in its 18th printing, documents the obstacles and rewards they encountered while moving to the Caribbean. The bestselling, inspirational travel essay continues to motivate thousands to send letters and e-mails asking the Blanchards for advice on following their own dreams.