Stewiacke garden centre sells after more than 20 years in the community
Work has started on Farmer Clem’s in Stewiacke, which has been sold to Pine Acres RV Ltd., of Moncton, pending finalization at the end of the month. The greenhouse has been dismantled and the contents of the building are being removed. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
STEWIACKE - An iconic business in this small town has finally sold.
Farmer Clem's has been a sight for motorists along the Veteran's Memorial Highway for the past 20 years, and as of Dec. 1, it will change hands to Pine Acres RV Ltd., of Moncton.
"It's just another stage of life," said Vernon Blois, who founded Farmer Clem's in 1961. "You just have to keep moving. This location has served us well and it will in our retirement."
Working for oneself, said Blois, means selling off assets to build a retirement fund, which is what he's doing.
"The building had been for sale for the past four years. Age is certainly a factor and there is no one in the family to take the operation over," he said, noting he turns 63 in January.
Farmer Clem's celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and operations in Halifax, of which there are five, and one in Sydney will continue on under Blois' direction.
While the Stewiacke location had a for sale sign on it for four years, operations continued and the store remained open until the end of this past summer.
Not long after sold signs went up at Farmer Clem's, work started on dismantling the greenhouse and removing its contents.
At the age of 11, Blois started selling seeds door-to-door in order to make some money to purchase a bicycle. From there, he grew the leftover seeds and sold the produce.
"For me, it was very inspiring that you could make that money so easily," he said in an interview last year. "I saw instant results from selling those seeds."
Five years later, Blois rented out vacant store space from another farmer at the cost of a bucket of apples.
That stepping stone helped the businessman purchase land and build his very first store during March break the year he graduated from school.
While Pine Acres is based out of Moncton, the family owned and operated business has two additional locations - one in Hampton, N.B., and one in Kensington, P.E.I.
The business is hoping to open in late May with roughly 150 new trailers on site.