Nancy Hendricks

People of Algoma

People of Algoma
“My favourite part of owning a greenhouse is when I walk through in the morning and see the flowers opening”. Nancy Hendricks has been running the Barr Road Flower Kart for the last 24 years and has loved every minute of it.

As a kid growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Nancy’s dream job was completely different than what it would actually turn out to be today. “I had always thought of being a special needs teacher. Someone who could work with kids on a one-on-one base”. Although becoming a special needs teacher was always the plan, after high school Nancy moved to Heyden and started working in retail. “I started out stocking shelfs and working the tills, but after time I eventually worked my way up to become the store supervisor- also known as the assistant manager”. While continuing to work in Heyden, Nancy fell in love and got married in 1986 to Scott Hendricks.

While in Heyden Nancy experimented with what would eventually become her future job. “I always loved having big flower beds. One day Scott realized how much it actually cost to buy all the plants to fill the flower beds. From there we decided that it would be a lot cheaper to just plant our own flowers from seed rather than buy it from a greenhouse”.

In 1991 Nancy and Scott decided to move back closer to home. They found themselves a piece of property in Tarbutt Township and built their own house. For the first two years living in Tarbutt Nancy got into growing flowers for 2 different landscapers. In the second year, she had extra flowers and sold them off to family and friends. When selling them to family and friends, she saw what could become a potential business. The following spring, in 1993, she got her first greenhouse going. “My first greenhouse was glass and was about 18 x 40 foot. I mainly had family, friends and neighbours as our first clients. I had a tiny little ad in the Sentinel that helped”.

She continued in this greenhouse for another year and then decided production needed to become larger, this is when Scott started to lend a helping hand. “We went a lot bigger for the next greenhouse. We built one 30’ x 100’ that became our production/growing space. The glass greenhouse became the retail house”.

For the next eight years their business bloomed. So much so, that they knew they needed to expand once again. The property next door came up for sale and they snatched it up. “We were excited to be able to expand! We built a 30’ x 200’ greenhouse on the new property.”

In 2007, they added on another house behind the retail house to be able to grow more product. “We started growing a larger variety of flowers as well as some vegetables because we had more space. Two houses were for production/growing space and one was for selling the flowers”. Then in 2014 they made their most recent change to completely stop using the greenhouse at home and just add a third 30’ x 200’ foot greenhouse onto the property. “It really took a lot of energy to be running the flowers from the greenhouse at home down to the retail house every day. We knew that building a third house would be a lot better for everything and everyone”. Needless to say for the past 24 years there’s been a lot of development put into their growing business.

Every year Nancy and Scott start their season in early March. They start their greenhouse furnaces up and away they go with planting. “We start with seeding the vegetables”. Not long afterwards they start getting in the shipments of their chosen flowers for the year. “We get the majority of our flowers in things called “plugs”. We take the plugs and transplant them into the pots they will be sold in”. Throughout the season there are multiple seedlings done to get different maturity of plants for continuous premium quality for their clients. The retail greenhouse contains things such as hanging baskets, 4inch pots, cell packs, planter boxes and wall bags. Each year the greenhouse opens on May 1st. Then for seven days a week they are open 10am-8pm.

Nancy’s favourite part about owning a greenhouse is that she is never has to do the same things over and over again. “There is always something different to be done, whether it’s ordering, planting, working in the retail house, talking to customers, or cleaning up for the year. If you start to get tired of one thing, you know there is always something different around the corner”.

People of Algoma
Emilya graduated from CASS last year and is now taking a year off to work, to gain money for College. She has gotten the pleasure of working with Kevannas Fine Photography, Northern Lens Photography, and ACE Studios within the last year. In 2017 Emilya plans to enroll in the 2 year digital photography course at Lambton College in Sarnia. She owns her own business, Emilya Junor Photography, and specializes in family and couple portraits along with special occasion photography. She is passionate about her work and has loved taking photos from a very young age.  Emilya was chosen to design and photograph the 2017 calendar for the Down Syndrome Society of Sault Ste. Marie.