Jewell’s Country Market still open for business despite being for sale


Published on April 21, 2017

Gea Kremers was busy displaying plants in the greenhouse on Thursday as Jewellís Country Market opened for business in its 19th season. The successful operation is up for sale with a $1.9 million asking price.

©THE GUARDIAN/Jim Day

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – An iconic Island greenhouse is heading into its 19th season under the care of familiar green thumbs.

Jewell’s Country Market opened Thursday with Edwin and Dawn Jewell of York still in charge.

The Jewells, however, put the farm market and nursery located just north of Charlottetown up for sale about one year ago.

Edwin has mixed emotions at the thought of parting with the successful business, but is keen to focus all his attention on another exciting venture.

Jewell is currently expanding the capacity of Canada’s Island Garden Inc., the province’s first medical marijuana growing facility.

In February, Health Canada granted him a license to sell cannabis.

The asking price for Jewell’s Country Market that includes nine acres of property is $1.9 million.

“I’m confident that we will find a buyer,’’ says Jewell.

The market grew out of humble beginnings.

Edwin graduated from high school and farmed with his two brothers.

In 1998, a small roadside stand was built to sell vegetables from the York farm.

The following year, a new 5,600 square foot market was opened.

In 2000, Edwin bought out his partners and has operated the business since.

Greenhouses were constructed starting in 2001 and that part of the business has expanded steadily.

Today, there is more than 30,000 square feet of greenhouse space.

Each year, many clients bring their containers in to have them custom planted.

Gloria Basha of Stanhope is a regular customer. She pops in at least once a month looking for plants and advice.

“It’s educational for me,’’ she says.

“They tell me what I should be planting for my area. They are very helpful.’’

Basha, who has also taken a few gardening classes at the market, is impressed as well by the large variety of plants.

“The choice for me is wonderful,’’ she says.

In addition to the spacious greenhouse, a gift shop offers a large selection of giftware, houseware, books, clothes and garden décor.

A dairy and fudge bar serves up 60 different varieties of ice cream.

Barb Jewell, who has worked at Jewell’s Country Market from day one and manages the greenhouse, credits strong values for the market’s success.

“We want people to succeed (in gardening),’’ she says.

“We want them to have the knowledge.’’

She says offering a “huge selection’’ of plants well displayed in a clean environment is also appealing to customers.

“We have a lot of repeat customers,’’ she says.

“It’s a busy place for sure.’’

In the summer, Jewell’s Country Market employs about 40 part-time and full-time staff.

Barb says Edwin has been the driving force – one may say the crown jewel – behind the business flourishing.

“He’s always looking for ways to improve,’’ she notes.