Growing a Greenhouse
Like a garden that becomes more established with each passing year, Ys and Grace Boekestyn have grown not only a successful greenhouse venture but one that has won numerous Consumer Choice Awards.
The couple originally purchased the former Voscamp Greenhouses Inc., located south of St. Thomas, in 1988. It was renamed Heritage Country Gardens and they relocated to their current Wellington Street South address in 1998. The new 50,000 square foot facility included a shipping and packing area. Later that year, a retail component was added and retail stock has continued to diversify to meet customer demand and need.
In 2012, Heritage Country Gardens became a member of the Garden Gallery group . This group of independently-owned garden centres already had a stellar reputation for providing home gardeners with the best in quality, value and service. For Ys and Grace, it echoed the same solid business sentiment upon which they had built their own business.
This also enabled the Garden Gallery group members to develop a line of their own brand name products. As of 2017, the Garden Gallery group includes locations in Barrie, Bradford, Brampton, Burlington, Dundas, Dunnville, Lindsay, Midland, Mount Hope, Stratford, Simcoe and Stevensville.
Today, Heritage Garden Gallery features five acres of growing space plus the outdoor nursery. The retail component has expanded to now include garden tools and accessories, home decor, furniture plus fashion and accessories. They’re recognized for their growing of holiday crops such as poinsettias, hydrangeas and garden mums plus other annuals.
Heritage Garden Gallery has been open year-round since 2015. They now employ over 30 people plus they provide work experience to high school students.
Giving back to the community remains very much at the forefront of Ys and Grace’s business philosophy. Since 2013, they have made an on-going commitment to contribute to Mission Services of London which provides shelter, clothing, crisis invention and rehabilitation to men, women and children. Contributions come from a percentage of sales, donations made at an in-store coffee station and projects specifically targeted towards raising funds. Ys and Grace also support other community organizations and school groups through various fundraising initiatives including sales of flower baskets, gift cards and poinsettias.