Soothing scents and colourful blooms

This summer, the intersection of Niagara Stone Road and Concession 7 Road will be alive with colour and the soothing scent of lavender.

After 13 years, NEOB Lavender: Niagara Essential Oils & Blend is moving from its 2.5-acre site to 12 acres about one kilometre away at 933 Niagara Stone Rd.

The new farm is almost five times the size of the original location. With that much space, the possibilities appear to be endless.

“It opens up for us to be very creative and to really expand it to a world-renowned type lavender farm,” Robert Achal, who co-founded the business with his wife Melissa, told The Lake Report.

“The purchase of the property was pretty spontaneous. We drove by it many times and we’re always like, ‘That’s a beautiful piece of property,’ ” he said.

When they saw it was for sale, they hopped on the opportunity.

Big plans are in the works and they are excited.

“This spring, we’re going to be planting 20,000 lavender plants,” said Melissa Achal.

They have also dug up and removed all of the lavender plants from the old farm.

Some of those plants are waiting to be put into the ground at the new site. By the summer, the transferred plants will be flowering.

However, that’s not the only big change.

A new NEOB storefront location at 38 Queen St. opened earlier this month and it’s packed with homemade lavender items.

The company sells more than 150 lavender products and does all of its own bottling and labelling. In addition to lavender, it carries rose geranium and lemongrass.

“We’re just being welcomed by all and having so much fun down there. It’s so alive and so positive,” said Melissa.

Though it’s only been open since the first week of February, the store has been doing great and the feedback has been positive, the owners say.

A lot of locals like to walk around Queen Street and many have been customers of NEOB Lavender, so it’s been an easy transition, Melissa told The Lake Report.

“It’s just something that they’re liking and the shop owners are saying it’s what’s been missing,” she said.

When the opportunity to secure a storefront along Queen Street popped up, it was an easy decision to grab it. Within two months, it was open.

“We’ve looked around for many years to get down to the Queen Street area, but it’s something that doesn’t always come up,” said Melissa.

On the farm, another addition will be the two acres of colourful flowers they will plant.

The flowers will be blooming by the summer and customers will be able to stop in and walk through the fields and pick their own bouquets.

This will be called the “NEOB Lavender flower farm.”

“It’s going to be absolutely beautiful,” said Melissa.

There will be “a wide variety of colours and it’s gonna be an awesome time.”

There’s a lot going on at the new location with big plans in the works and the couple will share more details in the coming weeks once details are finalized with the town.

“Over time we’ll be beautifying a new property that’ll be just spectacular and everybody (is) really going to enjoy it when it becomes ready,” said Robert.

Along with the new NOTL retail location, NEOB has stores in Elora, Stratford and Bracebridge.

It only made sense to open one in Niagara-on-the-Lake, since the lavender is grown here.

The new farm will be open this summer.

Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report