Fields Farm and Garden Carries on Tradition

Story By Neil Moran 
Photos by Abby Bell 

When Angela and Josh Fields bought a home with three greenhouses on 9-Mile Road, south of Sault Ste. Marie, they had no intentions of starting a business. They had just arrived from Kodiak, Alaska, with their two kids, Ruger and Lottie. Josh had been stationed on the island with the U.S. Coast Guard and was in line for a promotion. The couple bought the property that was the location of the former Gregory Gardens, a popular garden center in the area.

Angela and Josh Fields, new owners of Fields Farm & Garden, bring new life to the former Gregory Gardens.

“At first it was like, ‘Hey we have the greenhouses, we can start a few vegetables,”’ says Josh. “Then we started talking to people and they asked us where we lived and we said ‘the old Gregory place’ and they replied, ‘Boy, we’re so sad to see it go.’” They then talked to the former employees of Gregory Gardens, Emily Sharp and Lisa Poirier, who shared the same sentiment.

The couple, who’ve never managed a garden center but have experience managing rental properties, approached the two women to see if they were interested in returning to work.

Emily Sharp is a key component to Fields Farm & Garden as she brings her green thumb experience from her years working for Gregory Gardens to support the Fields family in their new venture.

“We sat down with them and asked them if this is something they would like to keep doing because we have the funding but don’t have the know-how to do it,’” says Angela. There was no arm twisting needed, recalls Josh of that meeting. That was back in November 2022; by January, they became a business which is now called Fields Farm & Garden.

Poirier and Sharp have a combined 15 years of experience working at the former Gregory Gardens. The new owners acknowledged they couldn’t do it without them. “They each have their own thing,” says Angela of the two women. "Lisa has so much knowledge and Emily can sow 10 seeds and 20 plants will come up!”

“It’s been a whirlwind,” admits Angela of he decision to jump into the unknown territory of running a garden center business. “Especially ordering stuff, because by the time we got to it, a lot of the plants were picked over.” However, with the help of the former Gregory Gardens employees, they were able to get up and running in short order. They have not only stocked the place with some of the old favorites but have hosted a Mother’s Day event where moms could get pictures with their children.

There is no lack of ideas for what this “new” garden center can become. The couple envisions a gathering place for people who want to come out and enjoy the country ambiance, surrounded by pretty flowers. Josh visions a petting farm of miniature animals, while Angela is toying with the idea of hosting winter sleigh rides and a Christmas village.

Neighbors to the Rescue

Former Gregory Gardens employees, Emily Sharp and Lisa Poirier (pictured on right), joined new property owners Angela and Josh Fields and their children, Ruger and Lottie, who launched Fields Farm & Garden.

What propelled the couple forward, besides the support and knowledge of Sharp and Poirier, was their neighbors and surrounding community. Neighbors, who quickly became friends, showed up to plow, sow and eventually help unload trucks of flowers and other products. “Lisa knows everybody, and all she says is, ‘Hey, we need help,’” says Angela, “And we ask ‘how much for your services, what can we do for you?’ And they don’t want anything, it’s just amazing. It just makes you want to give back.”

The couple acknowledged that they don’t have everything the former garden center had, like bulk mulch. Since they didn’t actually buy the business, they’ve pretty much had to start from scratch. Angela says the biggest challenge has been the paperwork and lack of heavy equipment needed to unload the trucks that arrive with plants, but in time they hope to be able to purchase the needed equipment.

Ruger and Lottie Fields will greet you with a bit smile at Fields Farm & Garden.

“For the most part, people have been very understanding about not having things,” says Angela. She says if they don’t have what customers want she’ll suggest where they can get it. They plan to offer more products as they expand their offerings. A lot of these new offerings will be revealed on their Facebook page, which is updated almost daily.

Change is Good
Poirier is looking forward to the changes the new owners will bring to the former Gregory Gardens. “I’m super excited,” says Poirier. “The owners really seem to be in tune for making this a beautiful spot. It’s a big undertaking to open something like this and to walk in someone else’s shadow for a few minutes.”

Sharp is also optimistic. “There was a little bit of nervousness,” admits Sharp regarding the prospect of starting from scratch with people she had just met. But that seemed to dissipate as she got to know the couple.

“I actually look forward to a lot of the changes,” says Sharp. “They’re just a wonderful family and it’s such a pleasure to get to know them.”

The bottom line, of course, is serving the needs of the customer and the couple understands the challenges of gardening in the north, having lived in Alaska.

"It’s intimidating to be a new gardener,” adds Angela. “So I feel if we can reach those people, they can come out and learn, but still feel comfortable. It really feels like it was meant to be. We’re living on the excitement, and there is more to come!”



Lisa Poirier and Angela Fields working the cash register at Fields Farm & Garden