Ellerslie Gift and Garden in Edmonton has been keeping busy amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Once it gets sunny and we get plus teen temperatures, that really turns a corner for us for sure,” general manager Perry Stothart said.
The business typically ebbs and flows with the weather, now people are also trying to keep busy at home.
“We are definitely seeing an uptick of people wanting to do things like indoor plants or garden mix and different garden soils for sure is a big one,” Stothart explained.
“A lot of seeds, vegetable gardening, that kind of thing.”
“Definitely been a lot more people starting from scratch.”
Operating during the pandemic, however, is a dynamic he has never experienced before.
“With how we have to conduct ourselves personally — and not only as a business, but just our interaction socially as workers, as employees, as customers — that’s totally different now,” he said.
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Inside, the amount of customers allowed in the greenhouse at once is limited to two.
They’re offering curbside pick-up and delivery, too.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make it a safe experience and a positive experience for everybody,” he said. “Working with this more scaled-down workforce.”
Stothart also noted more time is being spent on the phone with customers.
“We’ll Skype or Facetime and do a virtual tour of the garden center and help them see and make a connection with some of the plants,” he said.
The province has deemed all agriculture business, including greenhouses and garden centres, as essential services.
That’s something Stothart said they take seriously.
“It’s a good vibe kind of business and we feel really good about our role to play in giving some people good thoughts in these tough times.”