the growing needs of a growing community
Flowers and Nursery has been an integral part of the east end community since
1960, but their roots run far deeper than that.
folks at J.A. Laporte have been looking after the growing needs of the east end
community for the past 50 years, but their roots run far deeper than that.
Laporte's great-grandfather was a farmer and his great-grandmother used to sell
vegetables on the Byward Market in the late 1800s. His grandfather was a farmer
as well, and his grandmother was a gardener, which is where his father Roger Laporte
developed an appreciation for plants which later grew into a real passion.
construction worker by trade, Roger decided to buy a farm where the nursery is
currently located on Old Montreal Road. The first two years he tried to grow vegetables
with very little success, but rather than give up and go back to construction
work, he switched to flowers, and the rest, as they say, is history.
flower business took off, and soon Roger was holding seminars in church basements,
community halls and other various meeting halls across the region.
I first bought the farm, I didn't buy it with my head, I bought it with my heart,"
says Roger Laporte, who along with son Jean, daughter-in-law Estelle and the rest
of the store's staff, will be celebrating 50 years in business this Saturday morning.
Laporte was so enthralled with plants and flowers that he used to dream about
sounds crazy, but I used to have dreams about the plants all the time. At the
same time I wanted to help people appreciate plants as much as I did. I talked
about flowers and plants all the time. I gave so many courses. I bet I talked
to 50,000 to 75,000 people over the years," says Roger.
and his wife Therese carefully nurtured the business as it slowly grew during
the 1970s. In 1974, they expanded the business by opening a second location in
Blossom Park. Two years later they opened another location on St. Joseph Blvd.
where Kelly Funeral Homes is currently located.
as the business was beginning to take off, health issues forced Roger into semi-retirement
in 1982, which is when his son Jean took over the business.
22 years of age at the time and in his second year at the University of Guelph,
Jean had to learn the business quickly and together with his wife-to-be Estelle
their greenhouses and built a store complete with a playground and an information
the years, JA Laporte has become a local institution. Many of the customers who
came to buy flowers for their new home in the late 70s and early 80s are still
buying flowers from the store. In many cases their children and grandchildren
have become loyal customers.
of the big advantages to purchasing your flowers or shrubs at JA Laporte, besides
the amazing variety, is the fact that everything is grown on site. When youre
buying from Laporte you know youre buying quality flowers, shrubs and trees
-- and they stand behind everything they sell
we grow everything ourselves we really know the product, says Estelle. We
also have to make sure we take care of the stock. If theres a frost we cover
everything up or move it inside.
staff at JA Laporte are eager to help you out in anyway they can. At the centre
of the yard is a large information desk that is manned during regular business
hours by either Jean or Estelle.
Laporte has a fully bilingual staff so whether you're a green thumb or just green
around the collar your questions will be answered in short order in either French
in case you bring the kiddies along, theres a play structure right beside
the information desk to keep the young ones occupied while you pick out your plants.
things that grow, JA Laporte also carries a full line of organic lawn care products,
grass seed, planters, lawn and garden implements and landscaping material.
from the store, the Laportes are deeply involved in the community. Every year
they donate thousands of dollars in material to area school children either to
beautify their school yards or to be used to help raise money for a variety of
worthy causes. They also sponsor the Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards and the
Greater Orléans Canada Day Celebration.
Laporte Flowers and Nursery is located at 1211 Old Montreal Rd. just east of Trim
Road. They can be reached at 613-833-2316 or you can visit their website at www.laportegardens.com.
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