For a business to span generations is rare today, but the spirit of growing is deeply rooted in the Sgambelluri family. It all began in the late 70’s when the Sgambelluri’s packed their things and moved from Port Credit to Beamsville settling on a 4-acre peach farm. For the matriarch of the family (Angie), it was a homecoming as she was raised in Beamsville. To date the family had been operating a chain of retail shoe stores in the GTA and Niagara, so as that business continued Tony and his sister Nancy took on the bulk of the farming work, with the youngest brother Mike still busy with school.
In the late 80’s a 15-acre fruit farm with King Street frontage became available, an enviable location in an expanding community with fruit farming centered at its core. Seizing the opportunity, the Sgambelluri’s purchased the farm and expanded their operations to include pears, plums and apricots. It wasn’t long before a small wagon was parked at the end of the driveway and fresh fruit from the farm was sold to the general public and tourists enjoying a taste of wine country.
As crops and business continued to thrive more fruit farms were acquired and additional lands rented from neighbors. With the expansion in acreage came the need for a new barn to store and pack the fruit being produced. In 1993 the current Ridgeview facility was built, and in April of 1994, Ridgeview Fruit Market & Garden Centre Ltd. opened its doors for business.
In the early days, Ridgeview was a full-fledged country market which sold not only fruit from the farming operation, but bread, milk, ice cream, imported fruits and vegetables and had a small garden centre section on the east wall of the store.
As time passed and interests evolved it was quickly made evident that customers who frequented Ridgeview were less and less interested in bread, milk and California lettuce and more interested in plants, soil and mulch. Slowly, the garden centre business overwhelmed the square footage of the store and after a few years, Ridgeview turned into the full-service garden centre you now know. With the success achieved selling garden and gardening products the business flourished and today is spread over 5 acres.
Time marches on and Beamsville and neighbouring Grimsby have continued to grow. More people have flocked to the region and brought with them expanding families. Thus, in February of 2019, the current parcel of land on which the garden centre operated was sold to The District School Board of Niagara. They purchased the land to build a new secondary school. This sale cemented the decision to modernize the garden centre business and with that the Sgambelluri’s are pleased to announce the construction of a new facility on the remaining acreage. The new facility will consider all the lessons learned after operating for 24 years and incorporate them into a fabulous new space. This transition will result in enhanced services and products to better serve the many loyal customers who choose Ridgeview year after year for all their garden needs.
Keep an eye out in the coming months as plans are finalized and construction begins, updates will be posted on social media and through our e-newsletters.
Ridgeview Garden Centre thanks you for your patronage and looks forward to the exciting changes ahead!