We admit it, we're just 2 really, really (like totally) crazy guys. The only thing we love more than succulents are the 2 best dogs in the world (which happen to be our family) - Dexter and Quin.
You could pretty much say we've searched the world over for succulents for over 28 years now - New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa, the Netherlands, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Scotland and England. All great trips, but for us even more exciting was the hunt for succulents. There's additional succulent countries to visit for sure, with even more succulents to collect in the future. Told you we are crazy!
We love succulents so much, we even surrendered our home to them. In 1998 we built our first commercial greenhouse and started teaching succulent bowl classes at our Solar Gardens' acreage in 2005. As demand for our classes grew, so did our buildings. As one of our friends said a few years back when visiting..."Solar Gardens is like a little town...only there's more buildings here than a little town." Thanks Clint!
When guests were visiting and succulent students were taking classes, they often noticed our wood-fired oven sitting out in the open in our back yard and would want to eat. So we built a commercial kitchen around it and added a unique and sweet little restaurant in 2013 called the Firestick Cafe. It was the perfect name for us. It ties together the beautiful and unique succulent named "firesticks" with the wood "fired"-oven where we burn "sticks' of wood. OK, the last one's stretching it a bit. It burns logs, but we start the fire with "sticks". Oh well, you get the picture.
We started in the city at the Avalon Shopping Mall as a pop-up in 2016 with our fantastic friends (Sue and Gary and their family) from Avalon Auto. First it was a little temporary greenhouse in the parking lot; then it was a temporary spot in the mall building itself (with air conditioning and an all important washroom). The response was so positive we thought...Now is the time to permanently bring a little bit of Solar Gardens to the city. We'd contemplated a city location many times in the past but the timing and this location seemed perfect. The temporary spot has now become permanent and year-round (except for January). We opened SolarGardens@Avalon September 1, 2018.
Looking forward, in the spring of 2019 we will be adding a charming courtyard to the shop. There's always so much to look forward to. We are definitely crazy, but it's a good crazy. At least that's what we keep telling ourselves.
We so hope you enjoy our little shop as much as we have enjoyed building it, and enjoyed all the years that have lead us to this moment. You never know...you just might run into Dexter and Quin there! They, like us, will be glad you stopped by.Succulently yours,
Roger, Chris, Dexter and Quin