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Bruce's Musings || Just sayin'. . .

A Day in the Life

Posted on November 18, 2015 by Bruce MacNaughton

As the green leaves of summer adopt rich autumn hues and cascade to the ground where snow covers them, I’m reminded of the beauty that lies within the changing seasons, both in nature and in our lives.

 prince Edward Island Autumn

After welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to our restaurant, gift shop, and gardens over the last few months, life here at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. shifts as the holiday season approaches.


To give you an idea of what a typical day might look like for us at this time of the year, I thought it would be fun to give you a behind the scenes look at day in the life for us.


Our wonderful staff begin arriving around 7:30am. After some chit chat and catching up, we all make our way to our various nooks. Today, we’re finishing work in the Gardens of Hope. A group of us have worked throughout the fall to build new paths, three new rock retaining walls, two pergolas, and plant new shrubs, trees, and flowers. As we anticipate snow, we’re hoping to finish work in the garden this week. Plus, it’s getting a little chilly for yard work!


Gardens of Hope PEI


As our gift shop opens, the kettle boils and the tea steeps. Our sample table is set with jars of fruit preserves and crackers for tasting. Although we don’t have as many guests in our store at this time of the year, we like to make sure the tea is ready for those who do come.

Preserve Co. sample table


Speaking of tea, a couple of our employees busily package herbal, black, and green tea to be sold individually and as tea gift baskets. This is a task that happens most days throughout the year.

 Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. Tea

If you’re standing in the gift shop, you’ll see the lights in the preserve kitchen turn on and a new “Todays’ Flavour” sign hung up. Today we’re cooking Wild Blueberry & Lemon with Fresh Mint preserves. There are always a few people in the kitchen doing small batch preserving and preparing the fruit jars and labels, making the preserves, and bottling them. We’re also creating new recipes for sugar free preserves, so when we’re not in production mode, we’re trying out some of these new products. If wondering how to reduce sugar in your life, stay tuned for these products in 2016.  

Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. preserve kitchen

artisan preserves


Following your nose, the scent of freshly baked shortbread cookies and fruit cake will lead you to our pastry kitchen where our bakers extraordinaire are whipping up batch after batch of delicious holiday treats. 

 shortbread cookues

Shortbread cookies


Preserve Co. Fruit Cake


fruit cake

Fruit Cake

If you’ve enjoyed a meal in our restaurant during the summer, you’d be surprised to walk into it today and see that it’s been transformed into something that resembles Santa’s workshop. Many folks send us their wish list and we merrily package their orders of preserves, mugs and other gift items to be sent to homes across North America.

 seasonal gift boxes

After the cookies and cake cool, they are wrapped and readied for shipping. An assembly line seems to form as gift boxes are made, ribbon is cut, labels are printed, and preserves and baked goods are packaged into seasonal gift boxes and sent on their way to be placed under trees across the country and around the world.


seasonal gifts PEI Preserve Co.


Aside from the holiday preparation, we’re also working on a recipe eBook to be released in the new year. As folks submit recipes, we test them out (I know, I know, it’s a rough life!). We’re also gearing up to draw our winner for an all-inclusive trip to Prince Edward Island. (If you haven’t entered yet, you can here.)


Although we miss seeing all of you visitors, we welcome the change in seasons and the change in pace. It’s nice to slow down and welcome winter and the holiday season.

Prince Edward Island Winter

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lLorraine Hanson

Posted on November 29, 2015

We visited your lovely shop several years ago and would truly love to see it again,especially the garden of hope.A return visit to P.E.I. is definitely on our wish list.

Harriet McConnell

Posted on November 23, 2015

loved to hear what you do during the season. especially interested in the sugar free items you are trying out. we were out to visit your wonderful place about 5 years ago and are still talking about the beautiful area. we tell all our friends about you and your beautiful island….would love to come back again soon…

Mavis MacLean

Posted on November 23, 2015

I look forward to your postings and your info on new products. What a wonderful way to stay in touch with the Island!

Audrey Wilde

Posted on November 22, 2015

Nice. Enjoy seeing what is going on in your world. As of last week I am now 10 years cancer free ! We really enjoyed our visit this past Aug. ( We were on a bus trip that stopped at you place) We really loved the whole area. Your House of Hope is wonderful and the gardens are beautiful. Have a Blessed Christmas and a great New Year.

Cynthia Dunnett

Posted on November 21, 2015

Just to read your post has taken me back to the solace I enjoyed in the Garden this fall. And of course, I remember with pleasure my time in the dining room and the gift shop. Thank you again.

Lester. Dubnick

Posted on November 21, 2015

Good to hear from you.

Delbert Crocker

Posted on November 21, 2015

Delighted to hear from you. You are special people with a great mission beyond just making a profit. Hope your winter is a mild one, unless you want lots of snow to go snowmobiling and skiing.

John MacLellan

Posted on November 21, 2015

Every year we send in an order for Christmas giving. We would not miss it! Love the shortbread cookies.

Marlene Reimer

Posted on November 21, 2015

We visited your store on a bus tour in 2014. I have ordered my Christmas order and received it the other day. We love your products from teas to preserves and are now introducing them to our family and friends as Christmas gifts. So nice to give someone a gift that is not mass produced in a large factory. Feels good to say, we were there, it’s wonderful! when we give one of your products as a gift.

Kaye Durant

Posted on November 21, 2015

We loved our visit there in October(Celebrity Cruise),the lobster was delicious and the pie was luscious.The only downside we didn’t have time to really shop.I came home and placed an order last week for numerous Christmas gifts.Thanks for a wonderful experience.Hope to get there again.

Judy Shenefield

Posted on November 21, 2015

I visited your part of the world the fall of 2010. It was the last trip I took with my husband of 45 years because he passed away the next May. The welcome we received was warm and inviting and the items I bought I enjoyed for months after returning to Missouri. Whenever I get a note from you, I always look forward to opening it and see what is happening in PEI. Wishing you all a blessed holiday season.

|Charlene Cain

Posted on November 20, 2015

I’m so glad you sent this! I didn’t realize the shop stayed open. I will be out soon. Will look to see hours back on the site. Thanks!

Judy dw

Posted on November 20, 2015

Love your newsletter/pics and the way with words you have Bruce…inspirational and welcoming to all the seasons…keep up the good work! judy

Linda Tuttle

Posted on November 20, 2015

Glad to hear you are creating no sugar added preserves !! Being diabetic those new items will much appreciated. I truly like your regular preserves as well !
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 !
San Diego, California

Hildegard Schmidt

Posted on November 20, 2015

After visiting your wonderful Restaurant and gift shop several years ago,, I have been enjoying your products. I never miss an opportunity to give them as X-Mas Gifts. Also receiving your newsletters about your Continuing Plans for the Garaden of Hope. I hope to return to your beautiful spot on the Clye River. Keep up the Good Work. Hildegard Schmidt…….Oliver, B.C.

Kathleen Kovalick

Posted on November 20, 2015

Do you have snow today?
We visited the Preserve Co. in Sept. for the first time.
Something very special is going on there.

Marvin & Vivian DeBoer

Posted on November 20, 2015

Since we retired. We came back to PEI for the second time this summer. We live in Alberta and The Preserve Company is always on our list as a must stop. We really love to stop for a meal or just to browse the store. Hope to make another trip.

Nora Findlay

Posted on November 20, 2015

We usually spend a few weeks in PEI every summer and will no doubt be back
again in 2016. We will see you then.

Gary Zanes

Posted on November 20, 2015

Always remember our visit to your great shop. Beautiful part of the world. Wonderful people.

Donna McKinna

Posted on November 20, 2015

Enjoyed our visit going through your shop and your tea room this summer really nice. Of course brought home some of your preserves to be used for Christmas presents. It is nice to see what goes on behind the scene to make all your wonderful products

Dan Stubbs

Posted on November 20, 2015

We would love to drop in again for a meal, do you still offer restaurant meals in the off season? We are familiar with your place and are planning to be in PEI over the Christmas season. The young lady (Adrienne) working in your kitchen during the summer is our Granddaughter and we are looking forward to seeing her again.

Julie Renteria

Posted on November 20, 2015

Loved my visit to Prince Edward Island in Oct. The preserve company was so delightful! Enjoying the preserves and scrutiny sauces and want to order more for Christmas. While in the store we purchased some peanut brittle it was the best we have ever eaten,but we can not find it on your prouducts to order is it available to buy?


Posted on November 20, 2015


Sharon sigler

Posted on November 20, 2015

Wonderful place to visit! Excellent food and service.

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