Posts Tagged ‘baskets’

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Wongs Nursery flowering StevestonRooted in Richmond Since 1966.

I have always admired the gorgeous hanging baskets on the lampposts and seasonal flowers that beautify a number of major boulevards in Richmond’s city centre. Until recently I had no idea where these plants originated from, however I was enlightened when I met the grower, Paul Wong, who is the charming and affable owner of Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery.

Paul is the son of Yuen Wong, who founded Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery in 1966. Over the years Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery moved two times. The nursery was located on Cambie Road for 38 years. In 2008 it relocated to the impressive site on No. 2 Road. Sadly, Yuen passed away the same year. Paul is grateful his father had an opportunity to see the company in its magnificent new home. His vivacious mother Dorothy has retired but she loves to come assist during the busy spring months.

Wongs Nursery family StevestonPaul grew up in Richmond and graduated from Richmond High. He recalls assisting at the greenhouse after school before starting his homework. In the early 1990s his father approached him to join the company with the intention that Paul would eventually take over the family business. The father and son team worked together for many years – over time as retail and sale contracts grew they phased out wholesaling to stores such as Safeway, Sears and Woolco.

After an unseasonably cold and snowy winter followed by a rain-filled spring I suspect many gardeners are doing a jig as we welcome summer and have a taste of what the majority of Canadians experience each year. This will likely make us appreciate and maximize our time in our gardens more than ever. Paul says, “The nursery’s plants were almost two weeks behind this year.”

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells Richmond’s largest selection of hanging baskets, geraniums, bedding and container plants.

The front retail space is just the tip of the iceberg, walk through and you will discover there are eight additional greenhouses totalling 25,000 square feet. This is where the plants are grown.

Eight seasonal staff are brought in at the beginning of March; the greenhouses are a beehive of activity where staff can be seen plant hanging baskets for clients including the City of Richmond, which has been purchasing from Wong’s for over 20 years.

Ninety per cent of Wong’s plants are grown on site from pre-started seedlings or rooted cuttings.

Paul says, “Hanging baskets are our forte. Customers return because of the quality. We grow the best products and our prices are very good. Customers will also be able to find two or more identical basket here.”

Wongs Nursery No. 2 Rd StevestonWong’s Greenhouse & Nursery is open from the beginning of April through mid-July for the spring and summer season. It reopens in late September through early November and at this time you will find fall and winter plants in addition to spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.

Although the garden centre is seasonal, Paul is kept busy year round. He points out, “All year there is something growing here so I am always checking in and overseeing the business.” During the spring and summer he goes into overdrive working every day for three months. He manages the staff and attentively assists customers.

The weather dictates sales and sunny days are always the busiest. Paul has seen a surge in customers from local condo owners looking for patio plants for planters and he is pleased to report Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery offers a very good selection.

Paul shares a helpful gardening tip to file away for next season: “It is safe to plant annual plants outdoors when the evening temperature has consistently reached double digits.”

As a long term Richmond resident Paul is extremely appreciative of this community. Although the city has experienced many physical changes he feels the community spirit is as strong as the Richmond he remembers growing up.

What does Paul find most rewarding about running his own business? He says, “I enjoy being able to grow a great product for our customers and have them return year after year. I am also grateful to the community for supporting local merchants.”

Indeed, the beautiful, quality plants Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells certainly keep customers returning, but it is also the home-grown personal, friendly and knowledgeable service that makes this family business such a success.

Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery
11140 No 2 Road
Richmond, BC V7E 2E7
Telephone 604-278-1028

Village Bikes

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Pedalling into Steveston’s Future

Village_Bikes_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaIt is unlikely that any Steveston business owner other than Brett Martyniuk can claim to be a fourth generation Steveston merchant.

The Martyniuk family planted roots in this community in the late 1930s when Brett’s great-grandfather Peter Martyniuk founded Steveston Barbers. He operated his shop in the same location that Village Bikes now calls home. Brett points out his great-grandfather cut hair in the front of the store and lived in the back of the building.

His grandparents, Gabe and Marg Martyniuk, owned Island Cleaners for approximately forty years. It was situated in the space that now masquerades as the storefront “Any Given Sundae” on the television show Once Upon A Time.

Brett’s parents Ray and Elaine Martyniuk founded and ran Cannery Row Cafe in the mid-1980s, and today his father is the owner and operator of Steveston Water Taxi.

It seems Brett was destined to follow his family’s entrepreneurial path. In May 2007, after sensing there was a demand for a local bicycle shop, he opened Village Bikes.

The bike shop started off selling used bikes and providing repair services and after a short time introduced new bicycles. Norco, Giant and Linus are the primary brands carried, with a focus on families and urban cyclists. Brett points out if a customer is seeking a specific bike model he is more than happy to order it.

Village_Bikes_Interiior_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaAmongst the selection of children’s bikes the balance bike is a popular pick for toddlers. It helps pave the way for their first big kid bike, while eliminating the need to progress to training wheels. Brett says, “Once balance is mastered, learning to pedal is a breeze.”

The front section of the store stocks a variety of accessories to keep every cycling enthusiast happy. Stylish Linus wicker baskets are the perfect finishing touch to add to a cruiser and will help carry your farmers’ market goodies, or a beach towel and a picnic to your destination. Locks, lights and bells all help to personalize your bike.

Nutcase is a fun and popular helmet out of Portland, Oregon. These “brain protectors” comes in a number of styles. Brett indicates the watermelon model is one of their bestsellers.

The American made front mounted iBert Safe-T Seat perches little riders (ages 4 and younger) at the front of their parents’ bike. This allows children to take in the scenery around them rather than a rear-mounted seat where they view mum or dad’s back, and allows for easier communication.

Another way to enjoy the experience of “a bicycle built for two” is by adding a tow bar between the child’s and parent’s bike, and presto, it becomes similar to a tandem, with the parent controlling the steering.

In the back of the store Pierre Bertin competently manages the bike shop’s service department. Annual tune-ups are encouraged to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Flat tire? With a quick fix and a minimal charge of $10, you will be back in the saddle again.

Steveston is a perfect place to cycle. Not only is it flat, but it also offers bike trails galore from kilometres of dike paths to the Railway Avenue corridor that has been embraced by cyclists and pedestrians alike. If you prefer riding on the road there are bike lanes integrated into Richmond’s streets to encourage this environmentally friendly mode of commuting.
Brett sees a steady stream of couples and families inquiring about his bike rental service. For $10 an hour (or $30 for a full day) a bike is at your disposal to discover the area. Armed with a free map, customers venture off to explore the dike trails, parks and historic sites.

Brett is a proud local ambassador and encourages visitors to loop back to Steveston village for lunch where they will find some of the best restaurants in Richmond.

“When I was growing up it seemed Steveston was a bit of a secret, not a lot of people from outside of Richmond knew where it was. That’s definitely changed with more people moving to Steveston, Lower Mainlanders coming out for day trips and an increase in tourism.”

Village_Bikes_exterior_Steveston_Insider_Palla_MediaWhen asked what he loves most about running his business Brett replies, “I enjoy building relationships within an awesome community.” Although he has taken a break from Steveston to live in Vancouver he does not dismiss the likelihood of returning to his stomping grounds, as he knows it is a great place to raise a family.

This summer Brett and Village Bikes shop manager Graeme Burns are first time participants in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, which benefits the B.C. Cancer Foundation. The epic two-day 200-kilometre journey to Seattle takes place on August 29-30, 2015.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is an annual charity fundraiser held in various locations across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. This event is particularly close to Brett’s heart as he lost his mother to cancer in 2013.

“I’m looking forward to doing the ride with thousands of other people who’ve been affected by cancer in so many different ways.”

The Village Bike team hopes to raise $5,000 through a combined effort of online fundraising (www.conquercancer.ca) and by donating a percentage of their spring bike tune-up revenue to the event.

As for Brett’s personal training, his commute to Steveston from Vancouver by bike, combined with rides up Burnaby Mountain and through the University Endowment Lands is preparing him for the monumental journey ahead. And in true Steveston-style, his hometown will inevitably be cheering him on!

Village Bikes
3891 Moncton St
Richmond BC V7E 3A7
Telephone 604-274-3865
www.village-bikes.ca