In a letter dated March 13, 2018, Sunnyside Greenhouses Ltd. has announced it will be closing its doors in Bowness at the end of this summer.
The letter, addressed to friends, colleagues and business associates, begins with a mention of the 100th anniversary of its operations in Calgary, and details how the business has stayed within the family since its inception.
“At the same time, however, we must also announce that 2018 is our last year of operations at Sunnyside Greenhouses Ltd.,” the letter reads.
Owners Warren and Grant Jensen explained they have decided to sell the store site and surrounding property to “a well-respected and significant developer in Canada.” They say the buyer has a number of local developments and is “familiar with our community needs and wishes.”
The Jensens said while they did not solicit any offers, they have recently been approached by several “very interested purchasers.”
The letter says the family hopes the development of the site will realize its potential to be “a beautiful, mixed-use development for Bowness, and something our neighbours and friends can all be proud of.”
Customers and community members Global News spoke with were surprised to hear the news.
“It’s shocking. I can’t believe it, I really can’t believe it,” said Linda Symmes, who has been shopping at Sunnyside for more than 20 years.
“It’s really sad,” Bowness resident Ashley Reed said. “They’ve been a staple in not just Bowness but Calgary for a long time. I come here often — at least weekly.”
Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Scott Crockatt said in many ways it’s a business that embodies Calgary’s story.
“It’s an entrepreneurial story of people that came from faraway places, to come here, build a life [and] build a business over 100 years,” Crockatt said. “They saw growth, moved locations, they really succeeded here and that, in many ways, is the story and the dream of Calgary.”
Crockatt said the news is bittersweet; it’s sad to see the longtime icon go, but good news for new businesses to be able to start in the city. He said the chamber is seeing a trend of many businesses in transition right now, “particularly family businesses — those that have been around for a long time looking at what the next phase means for them.”
Global News reached out to management at Sunnyside but no one was available for comment.
The letter closes with a thank you to the community of Bowness and the city of Calgary.
Sunnyside Greenhouses Ltd. is located at 3429 69 St. N.W.
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