BY MICHAEL JOEL-HANSEN
The snow and cold temperatures have for the most part left the Maple Creek area. The warming of the weather means spring is now on, with summer right around the corner. This also means many seasonal businesses are getting ready to open their doors for the busy summer tourist season. One of these businesses is Wildflower Acres Gallery and Gift Barn, which is located south on Highway 21. Vickie Phillips is the owner of Wildflower Acres Gallery and Gift Barn. She is hard at work getting ready to open to the public on May 5. Phillips, who co-owns and runs the business with her husband, Scott, said she is excited about what they are able to offer to the public.
“There’s just so much,” she said, when reached at home Thursday afternoon.
Wildflower Acres offers a number of items to its customers. The things they stock range from antiques, to ones which have been repurposed altogether.
“I am always on the lookout for unique things,” she said.
One of the more popular items they stock is old license plates. In her quest to find different products to sell at her business, Phillips and her husband have travelled to as far away as Arizona in the past. She said part of what she likes about running the company is going out and looking for new items which she may be able to restore and make available to her customers.
“You never know what you’re going to find,” she said.
In seeking out items, Phillips finds herself going to garage and estate sales, where she finds exciting items. Along with the unique items which she finds in a variety of places she as well stocks things made by her husband and other people. This year Phillips explained that she and her husband are hoping to offer more to their customers, as last year they built an in-ground greenhouse and have planted some vegetables.
“Hopefully, we’ll have tomatoes,” she said.
Wildflower Acres like many businesses in the Cypress Hills welcomes a number of guest over the tourist season. Phillips said her busiest time is during the summer months.
“We’re usually quite busy July, August,” she said.
The business has been running since 2015 in its current location. The barn, which now houses the store was initially located southeast of Swift Current. The area had a number of wildflowers around it, which helped to inspire the name.
“(The) barn was moved from the area,” Phillips said.
During the time the business has been open, Phillips and her husband have welcomed visitors from a number of places. They try to keep track of the people who come through their doors by asking them to sign a guest book.
“We’ve had people from Holland, Sweden, all over,” she said.
Along with the greenhouse Phillips and her husband are hoping to plant two gardens. Fresh vegetables are not the only interesting attraction which will be featured this year as Wildflower Acres is hoping to host some live entertainment.
“(We) might have music, we did music one-night last year,” Phillips said.