In 1981, Garnet Wheaton began growing balsam fir trees in Berwick, Nova Scotia. To help cover the costs of their children’s orthodontist bills, Garnet’s wife, Kay Wheaton, started selling decorator tins and her own handcrafted gift items out of their home. Soon, their first cash register was needed, and placed on top of the family’s washer and dryer.
The Wheaton’s quickly found themselves in need of more space. Garnet began renovating their barn into a unique country store, which would be the original Berwick location. The barn was officially opened for business in September 1990 and four years later, an addition was added. What had started out as a little store was certainly expanding rapidly!
Their eldest son, Seth, began building pine shelves and step stools for the store in the basement of their home. Seth’s projects grew rapidly and expanded into a woodworking shop next to the original Berwick store. The woodworking shop is now a production facility that employs around 20 people who produce pine, oak, and maple furniture.
With the success of the Berwick store, locations were opened in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1996, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia in 2001, Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2007, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 2012, Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2015 and Saint John, New Brunswick in 2019. As well, the Cider Press Café was added to the Berwick location in 2003. In May of 2017, the new location of the Berwick store and Café was opened after the original buildings perished in a fire the year before.
“We hope you and your family continue to enjoy your Wheaton’s experiences and enjoyed learning about our story! Although we started out small, we have been blessed with so much over the years! It’s amazing how many great people we’ve been able to work with. Today, you can find Garnet and I helping in the stores or lunching at the café!” – Kay Wheaton