A greenhouse operator in the High Prairie area has been selected as one of the top 10 young Canadian gardening entrepreneurs outstanding in her field.
Christie Pollack of Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses was named in the Top 10 Under 40 by Greenhouse Canada.
“It was a total surprise when I got called that I had won,” says Pollack, who has owned the year-round business with her husband Tanner since December 2013.
“I didn’t know that I was nominated.”
Pollack says she was nominated by two people from the community and one person from the industry.
“I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to win this award and to be in this wonderful industry,” Pollack says.
“This award makes me want to work even harder at what I do to offer our community, industry and customers an even better experience.
“I truly have a passion for what I do.”
Winners were announced during the association’s conference in early October in the third year of the awards programs, although she was unable to attend.
As a young person, she was inspired to get into the business.
“When we started planning the business in 2012, I was 28 years old,” says Pollack, now 32.
She was lauded for her expertise and leadership to promote the industry.
“She’s already an industry leader in social media marketing, including an exceptional website, blog and online catalogue with shipping throughout Canada,” states a news release from Greenhouse Canada.
“It’s all part of the game plan.”
Pollack has been working for 16 years in the industry, beginning with part-time work as a teenager in a local greenhouse.
That opportunity definitely spurred her career choice, and she and her husband set up their own garden centre just a few years ago.
“She says there are at least four essential components of a great garden centre,” the news release states.
“Included are superior customer service, great quality plants, a great team to work with, because, as Christie emphasizes, ‘they are the face of your business”’), and dedicated community involvement.”
She was one of four from Alberta selected, with others from Morinville, Lacombe and Medicine Hat.
“For four of us from Alberta to get awards shows that Alberta is a happening place in the greenhouse industry,” Pollack says.
“Alberta has a small greenhouse industry compared to B.C. and Ontario.”
Awards were also presented to one winner from Saskatchewan, four from Ontario and one from Nova Scotia as the first from the Maritimes.
Pollack was also a double-winner as the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce presented it’s awards at the Small Business Week Gala on Oct. 22.
Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouse won the Environmental Awareness Award and Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
She gave some of her expert advice in a 45-minute webinar episode on Jan. 18 selected as one of the presenters of Alberta Agriculture Hortsnacks- to-Go webinar series.
Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouse is located about three kilometers east of High Prairie on Range Road 164 just south of Highway 2.