Laporte Flowers and Nursery has been an integral part of
the east end community since 1960, but their roots run far
deeper than that.
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.
Laporte family, left to right, Monika, Nick, Nicki Gauthier,
Jean and Estelle, and Christiane. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
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.
business took off, and soon Roger was holding seminars in
church basements, community halls and other various meeting
rooms across the region.
I first bought the farm, I didn't buy it with my head, I
bought it with my heart," says the family patriarch.
Laporte was so enthralled with plants and flowers that he
used to dream about them.
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 Thérèse 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.
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.
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 they expanded the greenhouses
and built a store complete with a playground and an information
years, J.A. 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 as well.
the big advantages to purchasing your flowers or shrubs
at J.A. 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
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.
at J.A. 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
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 or English.
case you bring the kiddies along, theres a playstructure
right beside the information booth to keep the young ones
occupied while you pick out your plants.
things that grow, J.A. Laporte also carries a full line
of organic lawn care products, grass seed, planters, lawn
and garden implements and landscaping material.
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
Flowers and Nursery is located at 455 Famille-Laporte Ave.
just off Old Montreal Road. They can be reached at 613-833-2316
or you can visit their website at www.laportegardens.com.
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