The two desks of Kristin Ego-MacPhail and Gary MacPhail sit beside each other, tidy and yet stacked with business as their hectic farm market season winds down.
This small office is the interface between production and business at Ego’s Nurseries, Garden Centre and Farm Market near Orillia, an hour or so north of Toronto, where the couple has given themselves a business mandate to pursue professional development.
It’s not like they have nothing else to do. Ego’s, started by Kristin’s parents Laury and Lorraine as a roadside stand in 1975, is a busy, thriving place. Some 18,000 sq. ft. of heated greenhouses and 24,000 sq. ft. of outdoor container growing area and cold frames stretch out behind the farm market.
Not only do the husband and wife team sell direct, Ego’s Nurseries also contract grows for landscape and gardening operations.
Kristin and Gary purchased the business in 2006. Gary does the bookkeeping and has a degree in economics from Western University.
For her part, with her B.Sc. in agriculture from the University of Guelph, Kristin says, “I’ve always focused on production… on doing a better job at growing.”
Last year, however, Kristin decided it was time to sharpen her business skills, and she signed up for the new Advanced Farm Management Program (AFMP).