Explore Local Regional Producer Profiles: Broxburn Vegetables & Cafe

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Paul and Hilda de Jonge farm eighty acres of mixed greenhouse and field crops five kilometers east of Lethbridge, along Broxburn Road. During the summer months, U-pick berries and root vegetables are visible in the fields behind their home and greenhouses. The greenhouses themselves house peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. In 2002 they renovated an existing barn to hold a produce store and café and are now open throughout the year, happy to serve you a bowl of their signature red pepper soup.

To learn more about their products and how to access them, check out their website.

Why they started Broxburn Vegetables and Cafe

Paul farmed in the Netherlands but, when he moved to Alberta, he was working as an accountant. His job at the time required significant travel and when, as he jokingly puts it, the flight attendants knew him better than his own children, he realized that he wanted a career that allowed him to spend more time with his family. He turned to his background and the background of his wife, Hilda and they began farming for a living.

On relationships with their customers

Their customers are the reason that they exist. Paul and Hilda love getting to know the people eating their food and are continually learning what their customers want and finding new ways to provide it. Their willingness to accept a "lower yield for better taste" philosophy when choosing varieties exemplifies their commitment to their customers. Putting quality vegetables on plates in restaurants and kitchens across the province is Paul and Hilda’s goal and they know they cannot get there without first listening to the people who eat their food. Farmers' markets and direct contact with chefs gives them the opportunity to cultivate these relationships.

Their presence in the community

When Paul and Hilda saw a growing trend in agricultural tourism, they responded by building a wooden play structure and offering a number of events to further encourage families to visit the farm and promote large-scale interest in small-scale local agriculture.

Broxburn hosts three events each year:

1.At the end of June they host a vintage tractor rally, which is, an event held to showcase unique and antique tractors from around the region.
2.In the late summer they hold a strawberry festival that highlights one of their most popular U-pick products; people come from all over Southern Alberta to pick strawberries of their own and enjoy a strawberry-themed menu at the café.
3.In the fall they hold their largest event, the Pig and Pumpkin Festival. This fundraiser for the Lion’s Club includes games, hay-rides, piglets, and a pumpkin cannon. Thousands of people enjoy this event every year and Paul and Hilda appreciate any occasion that allows them to give back to the people who support their farm.

Events are mutually beneficial, as they provide an opportunity for Broxburn to gain exposure for their product and create new customer relationships as well as offering the members of their community a family-farm experience and the chance to meet and interact with the people whose hands work hard to bring the best produce to their table.

Their vision for Broxburn

At Broxburn they evolve for the people eating their food. If expansion is in their future, it will be a direct result of customer demand but not at a wholesale level. They value honesty, transparency, and relationships. They believe that the experience and intentionality going into their food makes it taste better and that the best way to get the customers the food they deserve is to talk with them.

"Broxburn Vegetables is primarily about local, sustainable, healthy, and tasty food. People can feel good about what they buy from Broxburn." - Paul de Jonge

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Mimi Lee.
This document is maintained by Delores Serafin.
This information published to the web on June 23, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 29, 2017.