THUNDER BAY -- If gardening and growing food is on your mind, the Trevisanutto family can meet all your needs. Dennis and Susan Trevisanutto and their son Sean operate over 110,000 square feet of greenhouses in the city. Together they own Creekside Nursery and Garden Centre (originally founded and owned by Sean’s grandfather in 1974) and Trevisanutto’s, started by Dennis Trevisanutto in 1996.
When Sean came on board in 2011, he started the landscaping division, planning and building people’s gardening and landscape projects. With the older generation going into retirement, Creekside was sold to the younger generation last year, keeping the business in the family.
As a nursery, they plan far in advance - by the end of the season last year, they were ordering this year’s plants and seeds. COVID-19 restrictions took them by surprise, and they temporarily closed the greenhouses to the public, accepting orders over the phone and by email. Trevisanutto’s also recently started an online ordering system on its website.
After implementing safety measures such as increased spacing between aisles and sanitization stations, both Creekside and Trevisanutto’s are now open to the public and they are still planning to open their satellite locations at the 55 Plus Centre on River street and at Northwood Park Plaza.
Both nurseries have had a lot of calls inquiring about bulk and bagged soil, as well as vegetable seedlings and seeds. “We’ve never seen this much interest in seeds,” says Sean. “People are really showing an interest in growing their own vegetables.”
Their plants are not treated with pesticides that may harm monarch butterflies and bees. When necessary, they apply safe biological alternatives such as nematodes. Customers can also find their bedding plants and vegetable seedlings at Walmart and some Home Hardware stores in the regions. In addition to supplying the plants to Walmart, they take care of them at the stores, watering and inspecting them regularly.
Creekside recently renovated to add a gift store, and Trevisanutto’s will have one as well in the future. Sean hopes the gift shops will allow them to be open year round, selling home decor and gifts for the holidays.
Despite a bumpy start to the season, Sean still hopes they can provide people with beautiful healthy plants. “People are stuck at home and this is going to be their therapy, go out in their garden and do some planting, enjoy the outside of their house,” he says.