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CAN (ON): Bringing flowers to the community since 1915When Frank Praill started Praill’s Greenhouse in 1915, he did so because he loved flowers. In 1946 his son Harold took over when Frank passed away. In 1997, Harold’s son Bruce took over the business, and in 2015, Bruce retired and passed the business along to his three sons, Sean, Chad and Ian.
Praill’s is located at 1508 Blackwell Road, using the same greenhouse that Frank Praill originally built. When you ask Bruce what has sustained the business for four generations and more than 100 years, he believes that you have to sell a quality product at a fair price, and you have to be willing to evolve with the needs of your customers. “Originally we focused on market gardening,” Bruce explains. “When I was a kid, I used to pack tomatoes and cucumbers that were loaded onto ships waiting in Point Edward, where the casino now sits, bound for Port Arthur and Fort William.”
Praill’s also sold flowers wholesale to local flower shops. “My grandfather Frank began the relationships with the flower shops and my father Harold built on them,” Bruce explains. Harold was a founding member and President of the Sarnia Farmers Market. In the summer, he sold flowers from a stand at the Market for more than thirty years. In the winter, he drove his Model T Ford to Miller Lake in the Bruce Peninsula to buy Christmas trees. Praill’s was one of the first businesses to sell Christmas trees in Sarnia. When he took over, Bruce began selling poinsettias at Christmastime and they now grow 10,000 of them each year.
Read more at Lambton Shield
Publication date: 1/5/2017
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