“I’m as passionate about being active in my community as I am about growing fresh, healthy food. Everyone should volunteer a bit of their time every week. It’s good for the soul!”
When you’re talking agriculture in the Central Okanagan, Paynter’s Fruit Market quickly comes to mind – whether you’ve visited the West Kelowna market as a tourist, shop there regularly as a local, or have been mentored by proprietor Jennay Oliver in planning your own agricultural venture.
Described as “modest to a fault”, the 4th generation farmer has a passion for her craft inspired by her grandparents who started Paynter’s Fruit Market in 1951. The business has grown from a roadside cherry stand to a West Kelowna landmark that includes a spacious retail market and hard ice cream parlour. The market is surrounded by 22 acres of vegetables and fruit trees and carries specialty produce items sourced from other BC farms.
From hosting school tours to community volunteering, the culture at Paynter’s Fruit Market is based on “connecting families back to the land and teaching people where their food comes from,” Jennay says. Its mission is “to provide a happy, local, friendly place for people to shop for fresh, delicious food,” a philosophy that has earned Paynter’s numerous community business awards and made it a popular stop on the Westside Farm Loop.
When she’s not working with her team of up to 40 staff in the summer, this high energy farmer can be found hiking, skiing or working as an on call firefighter. Her ultimate goal, however, is “to grow the best peaches ever!”