On May 1,1979 a dream became reality when John & Jocelyn Langendoen started Willowbrook Nurseries. They began small by renting 30 acres on Balfour St. in Fenwick, Ontario, with great ambitions. The first five years were busy ones as they planted crops, started container growing and constructed a greenhouse on the property, while keeping other jobs as well, to provide off farm income. In 1981 they purchased 10 of the 30 acres and over time aquired another adjoining 8 acres.
In 1982 Rob Bouwers was hired to join Willowbrook Nurseries, who is still part of the team today. Four years later they built a home which also served as the office. By this time John & Jocelyn had quit all their other off farm jobs and were devoting all of their time and energy into the nursery.
An opportunity presented itself in 1991 to purchase 50 acres on Farr Rd. to expand the nursery at a second location. Shortly thereafter adjoining property was made available, which enabled them to move the primary operations to 935 Victoria Avenue. A state of art office and shipping facility, equipped with 13 docks and a large enclosed warehouse, was completed in February 2002 at this location. Today Willowbrook owns 156 acres all devoted to container nursery production and rents 30 acres for field perennial production.
Over time Willowbrook Nurseries expanded its sales territory from all of Ontario, into Quebec, all of eastern Canada, and the northeastern United States. Rob Bouwers became sales manager overseeing a team of five sales representatives.
In 2005 Jocelyn was diagnosed with colon cancer. After undergoing surgery and treatments she was given a clean bill of health. Three short years later, in the fall of 2008, Jocelyn’s cancer returned in the form of a brain tumour. She again underwent surgery and intensive treatment and fought a courageous battle. On January 22, 2009 the Lord in His infinite wisdom took Jocelyn home.
On May 1, 2009 Willowbrook Nurseries Inc. celebrated 30 years. We look forward to a promising future; providing excellent service and quality products and a leader in providing the latest plant introductions to our valued customers.