Business in Profile: Berton Seeds

By Melanie Jonas

Walking into Berton Seeds, the client is welcomed by Miccio, the company cat, who sits at the top of a pile of packaged fertilizer and soil.

Before the cat, and the store at 4260 Weston road, there was a man named Angelo Berton. As an Italian immigrant to Canada, in the early 1970’s he would quite often go back to Italy, and with each visit he would return to Canada with some garden seeds. These seeds would be of vegetables such as Ridicio, Basil, Parsley, Rapini and Arugula; essentially these were products that were not yet available in Canada.

Soon Mr.Angelo Berton, had recognized the void in the market for authentic Italian vegetables, when he realized there were other Italian immigrants just like him, who missed the smell of home. This is the realization that aided in the birth of Berton Seeds. The first location was on Tory York, but since 1993 it has been at 4260 Weston road.

Now Mr.Angelo Berton’s son Walter Berton maintains the business highlighting the value of being located in Emery Village. Walter Berton identified, “Emery Village as close to the major arteries such as the 401 highway, giving the store good road exposure and it’s close to Woodbridge,” where a majority of his clientele lives.

The most popular flowers at the store are Zinnias. These flowers have the potential to grow to a height of 36 inches, with a diameter of 6 inches. They are available in a wide range of colors starting with white, yellow, orange, red, lilac and more.

If you want to eat what you grow, you should know that the most popular herb is Arugula. Just plant it in the late spring, in order to have a nice garden fresh salad throughout the hot summer evenings.

In addition to having 150 types of vegetables, flowers and herbs, Berton Seeds also sells birdseeds. They provide clients with specialty mixes of seeds and food insuring high quality. Since there are birdseeds, it makes sense that Berton seeds also have birdcages, and accessories.

This gem in the heart of Emery Village exemplifies that a little hard work can go a long way.

Mr.Berton started off in small stores, eventually expanding his business as demand grew, displaying his patience and passion to succeed. These are qualities that have been passed down to his son Walter Berton, as he continues to maintain the business and his father’s legacy.