When two brothers. Avtar and Kal Jhaj, immigrated from India in the early and late 70s and started working at Stewart Brothers Nurseries, which was owned by a local Irish-immigrant family and in operation since 1911, they had no idea they’d own and be expanding the business one day with their own families, but that’s exactly what’s happened.
In 2014, the brothers purchased the business growing it from it’s Midway and Grand Forks locations to include another nearly 30-acres in South Kelowna.
Today, Stewart Brothers remains one of the oldest and largest continuously operating nurseries in Canada growing and supplying prairie hardy boulevard trees, containers and wire baskets, ornamental and shade trees as well as fruit and evergreen trees from their 500-plus production acres.
The business has worked to capitalize on greening of cities and a niche market by supplying trees and plants to municipalities across Canada and the US to meet their customers’ needs.
“Cities are looking to diversify, add higher value and variety of trees and plants to parks and streetscapes and we can deliver a large volume of high-quality plants from young to mature, to meet those needs,” explains Sharn Jhai, Avtar’s son.
With literally hundreds of years of growing experience, the Stewart Brothers team concentrates on raising hardy plants able to thrive in cold winters and dry summers. There’s a real focus on quality which continues beyond the growing process as Stewart Brothers also includes a trucking division to deliver their products with efficiency and care, meaning less stress for customers.
Today, after more than 108 years in operation, Stewart Brothers employs approximately 30 people (full-time and seasonal) and continues to change and modify for shifting customer needs. An example is offering cherry, pear and apple trees for regional orchardists.
It’s business sense like this that’s gotten the company to where it is today and that will enable it to continue into the future. Maybe best of all, the deeply rooted company is likely to stay in the family as sons and cousins continue to be involved in the business.
Blog by Myrna Stark Leader