Vendor Spotlight: Colour Paradise Greenhouses
Vendor Spotlight: Colour Paradise, a local garden centre who’s been taking big strides to keep their business green. We sent them a few questions about the work they do, here are there answers!
1. Tell me about your business.
I’ve been growing plants my whole life, and it all started when my parents began market gardening on 50 acres of land in Millgrove, Ontario in 1972. They built their first greenhouse the following year to start early field crops and bedding plants, and it wasn’t long before they decided to start a family.
More than 3 decades and six kids later (including yours truly), we started building the greenhouse here in Waterloo Region that would later become Colour Paradise. After a couple years of construction, we opened our doors in 2005, and we’ve never looked back. I now run the greenhouse alongside my brother, Mark, and I couldn’t be happier!
So what is Colour Paradise? Well, I truly believe we have the most beautiful plants in the area, and we have an incredible greenhouse space that continues to make me step back and say ‘Wow’.
We’re open from April to October every year, and we offer an amazing selection of tropicals, succulents, annuals, perennials, shrubs, mums, and many more new and unique varieties.
2. How does it fit with the Eco Market model? How is it sustainable?
Our greenhouse is an incredible place, but we also recognize we have a role to play in helping our planet. That’s a big reason why I’m so determined to reduce our environmental impact and make our business as sustainable as possible.
We have spent the last 2 years brainstorming and testing ways we could reduce the amount of plastic we use. That led us to introduce special biodegradable paper pots, which are made from newspaper material right here in Canada. I’m proud to say that more than half of all our pots are sold in these ‘Eco’ pots, and we also offer a recycling program where people can bring in their plastic pots and we’ll send them out to be recycled.
But I’m not going to stop there. Right now we’re testing various alternative ways of maintaining our plants and greenhouse, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to do even more in the years to come.
3. Tell me about you. What got you here to a green business? Why?
My Dad was a true entrepreneur; He was always dreaming up exciting new ideas. He and my Mom were also SO passionate about plants, and I think seeing them work together really inspired me to want to do the same. I am not one to sit at a desk from 9-5, which is why I love being my own boss. It’s hard work, but there’s also a joy in the freedom and flexibility it offers me.
That passion hasn’t changed on bit, but after 15 years of running my own business, I have also developed a strong desire to have a positive impact on my local community.
And that all starts with the environment, because after all, everyone wins (Especially our communities) when we help Mother Nature. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made so far, but I also recognize that we still have a long way to go, and me and my amazing team are ready to put our heads down and get to work.
4. What are you up to? Any new events? Products?
This is the busiest time of the year for us by far, and we’re growing an incredible variety of plants to prepare for Mother’s Day and the long weekend. This year, we have a new series of impatiens that are highly disease-resistant, as well as lots of new Caletheas, which are very popular right now.
I also recommend checking out our Proven Winner Shrubs, Mandevillas (One of my favourites), Coleus plants, and all our new (and very colourful) Hydrangeas. We’re growing more than 100 new varieties and colours this year, so there’s really no shortage of options to choose from.
We also have lots of exciting events coming up, including a very kid-friendly plant workshop at the Kitchener Market for KW Food Revolution Day and lots of BBQ fundraisers at our greenhouse.
Visit www.colourparadise.com or check us out on social media to see what we’re up to!