Greenhouse Canada

Canadian is among Young Retailer Award finalists

June 6, 2016  By Dave Harrison

June 6, 2016, London, Ont. – Will Heeman has been named one of three finalists in this year’s Dümmen Orange/Green Profit Young Retailer Award program.

This honour is awarded annually to the top under-35 garden centre retailer in North America.

Heeman, 28, is representing not only Heeman’s Garden Centre, but also the whole nation as the lone Canadian, going up against two American retailers from Virginia and West Virginia.


The Young Retailer Award is organized by Green Profit, a horticulture trade magazine, and selected by a four-person panel of industry judges.

Heeman was nominated by a local greenhouse grower. As a finalist, he completed an essay (featured in the June edition of Green Profit) explaining how a growing trend of online shopping can’t beat the in-store experience at Heeman’s.

He also found time to complete four separate phone interviews with the judges from across the U.S. during the busy May gardening season.

“It’s an honour to be selected as a finalist on such a large stage,” said Heeman.

“I absolutely love what I do. It’s a thrill every day I come to work to create an experience I know our customers will appreciate, all while working alongside my family. To be recognized for such a prestigious award for doing what I love is affirmation that we’ve created something very special here at Heeman’s.”


Heeman is the Chief Daymaker (Heeman’s staff are here to make your day). He is responsible for the customer experience and marketing as well as many other roles in the family business.

He draws from his fresh, young perspective as well as his sabbatical experience working at a New Zealand garden centre to bring new and exciting ideas to Heeman’s.

He’s an active member in the community, regularly speaking to horticulture societies and emceeing local events.

He is also a Master Gardener In Training and past-president of the Ontario Berry Growers Association.

The Young Retailer Award winner will be announced July 11 at Cultivate’16, the largest all-industry trade show in North America.

Cultivate’16 will be held July 9-12 in Columbus, Ohio.

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