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New Terre Bleu store brings lavender farming store to Elora

'We want to show them what we have, that lavender is a beautiful product'

Already a popular tourist destination, Elora will soon be known as the place to go for all things lavender.

Terre Bleu, a popular lavender farm in Ontario, has closed its location in Milton and will be opening a storefront in Elora.

The store, which will be the temporary home for Terre Bleu's iconic yellow door, will also feature around 80 products, including lavender bouquets, lavender honey and lavender ice cream. 

Jim Muzyka is the owner of Terre Bleu brand and Fennario Meadows, a lavender farm in Creemore. He said the owner and founder of Terre Bleu sold the Terre Bleu property in late 2021. After acquiring the brand, Muzyka is combining Terra Bleu with his other farm, Fennario Meadows. Currently, Fennario Meadows has 17,000 plants and over eight bee hives producing honey.

“We own the Terre Bleu brand, the yellow door, and all of that, so now this is kind of a transition year off the original Terre Bleu property, and into Elora,” said Muzyka.“The yellow door has a bit of an iconic following. It gives us a lot of opportunity to move it around Ontario and create some mystery among those who have been part of the whole experience."

When looking into a potential location for the new store, Muzyka said Elora had many of the items they were looking for.

“This is a great town if you’ve spent time here,” he said. “There’s really nothing to compare it to, and it’s close enough to where we were."

More than a retail space, the Terre Bleu store will also feature an event space to hold demonstrations and activities, including perfume making, cake making, yoga and more.

“We do our production in the basement here and we will open the first floor to the public,” Muzyka said about the store layout, “We’ve got event space, but in the retail space, we will move our original copper still in there, which is roughly about nine feet tall.” 

“It’s a real showstopper,” said Jasmine Martyniuk, operations manager for the Elora location. "We want to show them what we have, that lavender is a beautiful product."

Along with the copper still, the Terre Bleu store will have a mannequin clothed in dried lavender and rose petals. Muzyka said the practice of dressing up a mannequin like this comes from France, which is what the store and farm is trying to emulate.

"It will be dried lavender and dried rose petals, it will be something you have never seen before," said Muzyka, noting store windows will have black awnings, "You really get more of a Provence type of feel in an Ontario venue."

"Everybody associates lavender and lavender farms in France, but let me show you what we can do here in Ontario."

Started in 2011 in Milton, Terre Bleu managed 75,000 plants and was well-known for its visitor experiences. Muzyka said it was a combination of agriculture and visitor activity which created a viable business model, as visitors become passionate about the products. 

“It keeps the farm as a working farm and its hundred acres, and there’s not a lot of ways to do that unless you are amalgamating with the large farmers,” he said. 

Muzyka, who was born in Saskatchewan to a farming family, moved to southwestern Ontario and continued farming, getting into producing lavender. He said farming lavender has been a different experience and hopes to move into distilling other botanicals, like juniper. 

“It’s farming, it’s agriculture, you’re prone to the climate and there are a lot of things you can’t control, but I think there is a lot of expertise in Ontario about how to do this right,” said Muzyka, noting over a hundred farms are part of the Ontario Lavender Association. “The farms that produce lavender get a lot of support out of the provincial government.”

Besides the experience centre in Elora, Muzyka adds they will open a new Terre Bleu property next year on the Niagara Escarpment.

“It’s a beautiful property, like from the bottom to top there is about a 350 foot elevation change so you can imagine lavender flowing up those hills,” said Muzyka. “Not as large in scope as Terre Bleu was, this is more intimate, fewer visitors, but more unique visitor experience when you not only combine the landscape, but also the lavender.”

The new storefront will be located at 143 Metcalfe St. and is anticipated to open in 2022, operating seven days a week.

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