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Plays wanted for Community Theatre Festi...

The PEI Community Theatre Festival will be held at the Carrefour in Charlottetown on March 30, 2019, [ ... ]

PARC Playwrights’ Colony

Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC) will host the 2019 PARC Playwrights’ Colony from May 5 [ ... ]

The Vriends family of John’s Greenhouses in Summerside

Way Up West
by Jan Cox

Chris, Jennifer and Kevin (photo: Jan Cox)Chris Vriends is the face of John’s Greenhouses in Summerside.

“John” was Chris’s grandfather. John and his wife Jocena immigrated from Holland. They picked strawberries, farmed and finally bought an existing Summerside garden centre in 1959. There were three large greenhouses then. Now there are thirty-two buildings on the property. 

John and Jocena began to sell what they had seen in Holland—hanging baskets, potted plants, annuals etc. and started to offer landscaping services. They built the business up following their vision and in 1979 Chris Vriends Senior along with his wife Myra took over running the greenhouses. The business was bought again in 2013, making brothers Chris and Kevin the third generation to own and operate John’s Greenhouses Ltd.

Chris has worked in the family operation since he was 13—with 33 years experience, he wouldn’t do anything else. “Guess you could say I’m the front guy. Right from the start I knew this is what I wanted to do. I want to honour my grandfather’s name. We take pride in our work because of that. I’m excited to be here every day,” said Chris. And that excitement shows. It is his passion.

The business has changed over the years Chris went on the explain, “Our main thing is designing garden beds. We have three landscaping crews now.”

Already known for selling and growing a huge variety of plants, John’s Greenhouses has an expansion in the works for this year.

The wholesale business is almost 40% of their current sales. Chris’s dad still delivers the stock to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and all over Prince Edward Island.

As Chris proudly looks out over the property and rows and rows of plants, one wonders what he is thinking next. Whatever it is, it will be for the good of his customers, that is for certain.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Blaze

January 29–February 3
City Cinema 14A, coarse language, substance abuse
Dir: Ethan Hawke, US, 129 m [ ... ]

The Drawer Boy

Until January 20
City Cinema PG
Dir: Arturo Pérez Torres/Aviva Armour-Ostroff, Canada, 99 min. Stuar [ ... ]

Rolston String Quartet

February 21
The Mack The Rolston String Quartet is bringing a storm of classical music to The Mack t [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Music PEI Canadian Songwriter Challenge

In partnership with ECMA 2019 Music PEI and ECMA 2019 have announced a partnership bringing togethe [ ... ]

The facilitator

Profile: Steve Bellamy by Jane Ledwell “Arts are ways into emotions. Arts are where we connect, [ ... ]

A gift of Island poetry: John MacKenzie

The Feet of Blue Herons If you happen to live in another town,
Or country, or even galaxy
As dim and  [ ... ]