Beloved Burnaby Farm and Produce Store Closes After 50 Years

Customers flood the store’s Facebook page with hundreds of tributes about what their business means to them.

An outpouring of affection flooded the Facebook page of a Burnaby agricultural institution that closed after nearly 50 years.

Hop On Farms at 5624 Marine Dr. provided fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers to South Burnaby, but its owners – the Hong family – decided to retire.

“After almost 50 years, Hop On Farms is sad to announce that we will not be reopening this season and will be permanently closing our store,” reads its Facebook page and website. “It was a very difficult decision, but the time has come for the pillars of our company to take their long-awaited and well-deserved retirement. Faced with many challenges over the years, we have always managed to overcome them, but the long hours and physical labor on the farm have taken their toll and now is the time to rest.

“We are so grateful for all of your support, which has helped us build our family business and we want to thank you all for your loyalty and sponsorship over the years and for making Hop On a part of your life. We We will fail to serve you all, because you made your coming to work pleasant and rewarding. You were more than our customers, you became our friends.

This feeling of friendship was expressed in more than 350 comments on the Facebook post from loyal customers.

“This is a crushing loss,” wrote one client.

Another spoke of the value of having farm-to-table items so close to home.

“It is sad news indeed, but your loyalty to providing such quality products and all your hard work each year has indeed earned you all a good and well-deserved retirement,” wrote Twila Savigny. “Although we miss you more than words can say, we appreciate you and are grateful for all you have done for your community. Each year, the fruits of your labor exceeded 100 times what we could get at any grocery store. »

Chan Kow Hong came to Canada in 1952 at the age of 21 to join his father Gay Tim, who was renting farmland on the Musqueum Indian Reservation in Vancouver. But they wanted to own their own farm. In December 1953, Chan Kow and three others purchased the property on Marine Drive between Gilley and Royal Oak Avenues. They named it Hop On Farms because in Chinese it meant peaceful partnership or union.

In 1964, Chan Kow and Gay Tim bought out the other partners.

Hop On Farms has not only served customers, it has also helped other farmers.

“You have been so supportive and always so forthcoming with your helpful advice,” wrote Jeff Lee of Honey Zen Bee Apiaries. “We’re taking a page out of your book and helping out newcomers too. So enjoy your retirement, but also know that you have truly been an important food producer and supplier to the Lower Mainland. Good wishes flow down your path.

– With files from Grant Granger, NOW

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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