Coastal Gardens flowering into year-round production

News release

Three people pose in a greenhouse, with one holding a flowering plant.
ACOA Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor met with Danielle VanDalen, Owner and Operator of Coastal Gardens and her husband Philip Sprague, during a site visit at the Pugwash business in May.

Government of Canada funding helps gardening company grow

June 22, 2023 · Pugwash, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Small and medium-sized businesses are key to building vibrant, resilient communities. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting entrepreneurs who are contributing to the region’s economy by ensuring they have the resources they need to grow their companies and increase their customer base.

Federal government helps nurture business growth

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a non-repayable contribution of $56,250 to Coastal Gardens, an Indigenous and woman-owned garden centre in Pugwash. The funding is being provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) – Indigenous Business Development program.

Today’s investment helped Coastal Gardens construct two additional greenouses equipped with automated irrigation, propogation and heating systems, allowing the company to triple capacity and increase its onsite production by 90 percent. The additional heated production space and irrigation system provide the opporunity to seed and plant earlier, complete more efficient watering, and over-winter plants. This will also improve quality and meet growing demand from retail and commercial clients.

Earlier this month, Minister Petitpas Taylor toured the company’s retail and production facility to see its growth and hear about future plans.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting rural, women-owned and Indigenous businesses so they can scale-up and reach new markets.  


“Community-based businesses are a major contributor to economic resiliency across Atlantic  Canada. That is one of the reasons our government will continue to help businsesses like Coastal Gardens take advantage of growth opportunites, and build a stronger future for small business owners, their families and their communities.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Coastal Gardens has always been part of our plans. We have worked slow and steady at it every day. With the help and support from ACOA we have a more competitive advantage and provide our loyal customers with a more diverse selection and volume. We are now in a position to expand into other markets and work towards realizing our future goals.”
- Danielle VanDalen, Founder and Operator, Coastal Gardens 

Quick facts

  • Opened in 2009, Coastal Gardens is a greenhouse and garden centre providing locally grown ornamental and edible plant material for homeowners, cottagers, and commercial businesses. It specializes in deer resistant and salt tolerant materials for the Northumberland Shore. 

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, business revenues increased by over 300 percent. The company nearly sold out of all stock in each of the last three years, growing the business from part-time to full-time. 

  • Two trends are driving the expansion of the business, including a resurgence in gardening since the pandemic, as well as increased demand from people interested in growing their own food to help combat rising prices. 

  • Only 17 percent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women. Studies show that by advancing gender equality and women's participation in the economy, Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP.

  • Indigenous businesses and organizations play a vital role in strengthening Canada’s economy. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) supports several initiatives to help these businesses and spur community growth. 

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Danielle VanDalen
Founder and Operator
Coastal Gardens

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