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St. John’s Seed Company’s reach grows across Atlantic Canada

Jackson McLean, assistant manager at The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze, stands next to a rack of seeds offered by the downtown St. John’s shop. Starting next spring, the company’s contract with Sobeys to have seed racks in all its Newfoundland and Labrador locations — including Foodland and Co-op franchises — will be expanded to include the rest of Atlantic Canada.
Jackson McLean, assistant manager at The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze, stands next to a rack of seeds offered by the downtown St. John’s shop. Starting next spring, the company’s contract with Sobeys to have seed racks in all its Newfoundland and Labrador locations — including Foodland and Co-op franchises — will be expanded to include the rest of Atlantic Canada.

The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze already has well-established roots in Newfoundland, but the St. John’s business will branch out to the rest of Atlantic Canada next spring.

Last year, the company started to supply seed racks to Sobeys, Foodland and Co-op grocery store locations throughout this province and sales were so good the grocery chain expanded the contract.

“We don’t know the exact number of stores yet, but it’s definitely over 100,” says assistant manager Jackson McLean.
“It’s really good to see a bigger company help out a little company, especially when we’re having issues with the economy right now in Newfoundland.”

He figures sales were brisk in this province because people have come to trust the Gaze name.
“They know the seeds we sell can at least grow here. People will see seeds from other companies and some people assume their seeds are picked randomly and not necessarily for our climate.”

The racks include 30 to 40 types of seeds, everything from greens to flowers to root vegetables like cabbage, turnip and beets.

“All the Jigg’s dinner stuff,” says McLean.

Overall, he says business at the Buchanan Street store, which has been in operation in some form or another since 1925, is going well since the company came under new ownership and rebranded itself as The Seed Company.

“We’ve seen a definite increase each year in the number of people who are interested in growing their own food. That’s definitely a trend that’s happening,” says McLean, adding that more people are hearing about the store thanks to more foot traffic from locals and tourists alike on the west end of Water Street.

“We see quite a few tourists and a lot of repeat customers, people who come down every couple of weeks to see what new stuff we’ve got because we bring in new and exciting things, too.”

As winter sets in, McLean says, the plan is to expand on their workshop series they’ve been offering in recent years, digging into more advanced food-growing and preparation skills.

 

kenn.oliver@thetelegram.com

Twitter: kennoliver79

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