Greenland Garden Centre celebrates 50 years
By Amanda Ryder
April 29, 2010 – This year marks 50 years in business for Greenland Garden Centre of Sherwood Park, Alta. The operation has remained a family business since the beginning.
|Greenland's first location on John & Lennie
Chichak's home property.
At Greenland, roots run strong and deep. It's been half of a century since John and Lennie Chichak opened their small landscaping business and tree nursery in northeast Edmonton. As with most family businesses, their children Wayne, Deb and Tim grew up helping in any way they could.
In 1970, the expanded business moved to an acreage in Sherwood Park. The five acre property was perfectly suited to accommodate a larger garden centre, growing fields and base office for a successful landscape division.
Eventually, Tim, Wayne, Deb and son-in-law Rod joined the business full time. Their vision for Greenland began to extend far beyond a seasonal business. In Spring 1991, the second generation opened up a “new” Greenland, located on Hwy 16.
What started out as a “destination” for gardeners has blossomed into a destination for families, friends, and travellers alike. The Greenland of today includes a playground, a garden café for dining and an inspiring botanical garden to enjoy in summer months.
To entice visitors year round, Greenland changes with every season. In October the greenhouse is transformed into Western Canada’s Largest Christmas Store, and transformed once again in January, when their awe-inspiring indoor garden provides a welcome respite from winter.
Supporting the community is a priority for the Greenland family. Events such as “Ladies
|Greenland's outdoor botanical garden|
Night Out”‚ “Harvest Gathering” and “Country Christmas” were created with charity and family in mind. Their seasonal fundraisers support several non-profit organizations such as “Safe Place” Women's Shelter and the Cross Cancer Institute.
The Greenland family remains true to their vision of creating a year-round shopping experience offering superior customer service, amazing selection and exceptional quality. Their strong family values, endless determination and keen business sense have earned them numerous awards, including the most prestigious award of “Canada's Best Garden Centre”. Other awards include “Canadian Retailer of the Year" by the Canadian Gift and Tableware Association and "Business of the Year" by the County Of Strathcona Chamber of Commerce.
Greenland now employs 150 employees seasonally and over 70 on a year round basis. The family attributes their success to much more than hard work. Greenland employees and management consistently emulate family goals, values and a true passion for gardening and customer service.
The Greenland family believes in leading by example. This shows every day as they work alongside staff in day to day operations of the garden centre. This dedication and work ethic are at the root of employee loyalty and one of the main reasons Greenland has evolved into one of Canada’s most successful garden centres.