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Nanaimo garden centre remains open during property sale

NANAIMO – Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries will not be closing or relocating in the immediate future.
Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries in north Nanaimo.

A north Nanaimo garden centre and nursery won't be pulling out its roots anytime soon, according to one of its owners.Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries' 18-hectare property was recently listed with Colliers International, but not sold.Jarrett Gerke, Green Thumb co-owner, said although the property has yet to be sold, dozens of customers have dropped by the business believing that it was closing soon, which couldn't be further from the truth.

"We are not going anywhere anytime soon," Gerke said. "We've got orders booked up and fruit trees coming in at the end of the month – well over a thousand of them. We're ramping up right now."

Gerke said in recent weeks some customers have come by inquiring about liquidation sales, while others have refused to buy products out of fear that a warranty wouldn't be valid in the event that the property was sold.

"We've had quite a few people coming in purely looking for the 50 per cent off closing sale and saying we were closing by June," he said.Gerke said others have even inquired about returning unused gift cards.

"They didn't think we would be around long enough for them to use their gift card so they wanted the money back," he said.Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries is one of the largest nurseries on the Island and has been operating for more than five decades at its current location off Hammond Bay Road.

In recent years, Gerke said he's become accustomed to hearing rumours about the Green Thumb property being sold and his business closing or relocating. "There has probably been a new rumour every month. We've been sold to pretty much everyone on the Island," he said.Gerke has posted notices around the garden centre and on social media informing customers that Green Thumb is operating as normal and not closing, adding that it is all taking a toll on staff.

"It's been getting a little frustrating for them constantly being told that they are out of a job and stuff like that," he said.The business will continue to operate even after the property is sold, according to Gerke, who said if the time comes for Green Thumb to relocate, it will be to a location as close as possible to the existing site and customers will be given plenty of notice."If we are moving we will be telling everybody that we are moving," he said.For now and the foreseeable future, Green Thumb will operate as it always has. "We're still propagating plants and carrying on with everything," Gerke said.

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