Thunder Bay·Northern Nosh

DeBruin's Greenhouses thankful for 'unbelievable' support during pandemic

Up North's Jonathan Pinto spoke with Henriet DeBruin about her family's greenhouse operation, and what things have been like during COVID-19.

Oliver Paipoonge operation grows tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce

Arjen and Henriet DeBruin own Debruin's Greenhouses in Oliver Paipoonge, just west of Thunder Bay, Ont. (Facebook/Debruin's Greenhouses)

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Henriet DeBruin says she was "kind of in a panic."

DeBruin and her husband Arjen own DeBruin's Greenhouses, a produce growing operation off Highway 61 in Oliver Paipoonge, known for their fresh tomatoes.

"We didn't know how to get our product to the customer," she said. "[And] things were just starting to ripen."

A fresh greenhouse tomato. (Facebook/Debruin's Greenhouses)

However, after figuring out distribution and online sales, DeBruin said the response from the community was strong.

"People want to have local product, and they want to have product that they know where it comes from," she said. "Our sales were unbelievable."

Tap on the player to learn more about the history of DeBruin's Greenhouses.

Jonathan spoke with Henriet DeBruin, who runs DeBruin's Greenhouses in Oliver Paipoonge with her husband, Arjen. 7:31

For more about DeBruin's Greenhouses, click here.

"Northern Nosh" is a weekly feature on Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for northern Ontario. If you know of a restaurant, bakery or farm you think would make a great story, get in touch! 

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Jonathan Pinto is the host of Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for Northern Ontario and is based in Sudbury. He was formerly a reporter/editor and an associate producer at CBC Windsor. Email


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