Hole's enters new partnership
Greenhouse operations remain in family hands
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 01:46 pm
A new business partnership will allow the Hole family to return to what they say they’ve always known best.
The partnership, which was negotiated between Hole’s Greenhouses & Gardens, The Enjoy Centre and a privately owned financial company, became effective March 20, 2014.
The family will continue to manage the greenhouse, restaurant, bakery and event space available at the centre, said co-owner Jim Hole. Their partner will take over all other operations at The Enjoy Centre, including management of the leases, he said.
“We are really excited to be able to refocus on our greenhouse operations,” he said. “In the past number of years we had to stretch ourselves pretty thin on trying to manage all of the entire Enjoy Centre with all its different businesses. This just allows us to refocus.”
In past months, the centre has struggled with a number of financial and operational issues.
In October 2013, unsecured creditors had approved a financial restructuring proposal for The Enjoy Centre. The proposal provided some relief from debt brought up by a rocky startup that included construction delays and poor weather conditions in the peak sales season.
At the time, Hole told the Gazette that the company was looking to lease out all of its available space and focus on successful product lines and services within the centre. It also needed to change its marketing strategy to attract more people, he said.
New lenders were expected to aid in the restructuring process, he said.
On Monday, Hole said the new partnership will give the centre financial and operational support. But it will also allow the family to focus on the greenhouse operations and garden centre full time, without having to balance all of the other businesses within The Enjoy Centre.
“With the new partners in here they have some equity in the Enjoy Centre, but so do we,” he said.
He stressed that the family still has a “tremendous” amount of influence over the centre and is not giving up any part of the greenhouse operations, which include the restaurant, bakery and event space.
“We have absolutely no interest in selling out that business,” he said. “It’s been in the family so long.”
Hole said customers will not notice many changes except for a few new shops moving into the centre this year. This includes Evoolution, an olive oil and vinegar specialty shop. The store has already signed a lease with the centre but is taking some time to move in, he said.
At this time, Hole would not disclose who their new financial partner is but said it’s an Alberta company. He added that the company approached them about six months ago and is experienced with property management.
“It’s an enormous job and, to be honest, beyond our skill set,” he said. “It’s just nice to take a few things off the plate and get back to where we came from.”