Rock Garden Farms pushes through challenges & thrives amid pandemic

August 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Alyssa Parkhill

Rock Garden Farms has had to make several necessary changes in recent months to keep their staff and customers safe, but management says they are “so grateful” to have had the opportunity to remain open and serve the local community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Located on Airport Road, the retail market and greenhouse are known for their fresh produce and flowers. From seasonal fruit and vegetables to festive pies, Rock Garden Farms has been serving the Caledon community for 30 years. 

Like many other local businesses, Rock Garden Farms has had their ups and downs through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The beginning was very overwhelming. We weren’t expecting to open the farm with COVID-19, and not knowing what we were getting into,” said Margaret Galati “When we did get into it, we had to roll with it, and try to function and make this place very safe, COVID friendly, so that we were all managing without feeling too much stress and anxiety.”

They opened up curb-side pickup to allow the community to continue buying their produce and products. They found it challenging to transition to no in-person shopping but did what they could to make it work.

“It was a challenge because I had to get a laptop out here, a printer. It had a few glitches at the beginning, but we definitely ironed them out with some great help and support,” said Galati. 

The 88-acre farm is run by owners Nick and Tish Iuglio, their daughter Margaret, and her husband Paul, along with their children. A true family business. 

Galati expresses that without her family, and without the staff at Rock Garden Farms, business wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it has. 

“I can’t say enough about the staff. I couldn’t run this business without good staff around me,” she said. 

She added, “The people that did come back and wanted to work, and the new people that stepped into places where I needed, they came through like angels from above. Our family can only do so much to make this place run, we definitely need good hands and people around us and we were fortunate to have that.”

Business has been booming for Rock Garden Farms as COVID-19 has made people uncomfortable to go into the busy, grocery stores, and have been leaning on local markets and produce retailers for their food. 

“People had nowhere to go, and food is a necessity. So, when there was no restaurants or going out, or going to work, they’re all home and going to need more food on a daily basis,” explained Galati. “They had all their family, whether it be their children back home and that’s three meals a day. There’s been an increase in food sales, and all the other businesses I’m sure felt that.” 

Rock Garden Farms produce are all hand-picked and thoroughly chosen to ensure high quality produce for their customers. 

“Our motto is that you’ll taste the difference and you’ll know by the taste, how much fresher it is than anywhere else that you’ve purchased, like a chain store,” expressed Galati. “We are here to serve the community, and we want to make sure that we’re here on a daily basis to make sure that the community has somewhere to purchase fresh ingredients and products.” 

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