Minter Country Garden, Canada
The Minter team appreciates the open, airy layout of the new floor space concept as well as the additional space for customers to travel around and the alcoves to create “themed” sales areas.
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USA/Canada - Minter Country Garten

Moving closer to nature

After remodelling their West Coast Canadian garden center, the Minter family spoke about the project, the recent months and the future of the industry in digital post-pandemic times
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The Canadian garden centre Minter Country Garden in Chilliwack near Vancouver to the very west of the country has prescribed itself a refreshing look and feel. It was advised and equipped with products for the sales area by the Italian specialist Orlandelli. Those involved spoke about the project and the green industry in Canada:Erin, can you tell us the story of Minter Country Garden?Erin Minter: Brian Minter began sharing his passion for plants with Fraser Valley gardeners when, in 1972, he and his wife Faye purchased Country Garden, a garden shop that had been part of Chilliwack's community since 1957. In 1994, Brian and Faye moved the business to a much more accommodating 18 acres area, where it was expanded to become a destination garden store. Today, in addition to approximately 1 acre of covered customer shopping area, we have 2 acres of outdoor retail nursery, 15 greenhouses and a farming field we use for growing small crops of specialty items. We are also home to a café, a tea boutique and two vintage/antique shops, all of which are separately owned and operated.
Between the garden centre, the retail nursery, the floral design area and the café and specialty boutiques, which one reacted better to the challenges pre­sented by the Covid pandemic?
The retail garden centre was able to adapt most quickly. We were very fortunate to have a Shopify site in place before the pandemic descended so, when we closed, we were able to switch to an online platform for "Parking Lot Pick-Up'" quite quickly. We couldn't put the whole store on the site, of course, but the most essential items were quickly added, and it was all very well received. Once we were able to open again, we did take the online shopping/Parking Lot Pick Up option away as we could not keep up with both online and in-store customers; our team volume had reduced by about 30 per cent due to Covid, and had not returned by that point. We have remained open to the public since late April 2020.
What do you expect for the 2022 season? And what future do you think gardening has in Canada?One thing we have learned is that, while the demand for food security was high during the pandemic, the demand for colour was higher. People wanted happiness from their gardens and turned to them for comfort during a challenging time. Many folks who had not gardened before picked up the hobby during the shut downs, and those who had dabbled in gardening got much more involved in it. Growth in gardening has therefore been…
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