Meet Joanne Winkelaar, Owner of Willem & Jools
Hi! I’m Joanne and, coincidentally, my last name in Dutch loosely translates to “shopkeeper”. With a Dutch heritage, I feel I had an innate calling in the world of flowers.
After attending Western University, where I studied English Literature, I entered into fundraising. I enjoyed myself, but always felt I was meant to do something more creative.
I decided to join a busy downtown floral shop and immediately I knew that flowers were my true passion. A year and a half later, I started my first floral business creating arrangements for corporate events.
When I had my first son, Liam (“Willem”), I decided to take a step back and focus my attention on motherhood. After Liam’s sixth birthday, I rejoined the world of floristry by entering into a partnership with a large wedding and events company. After a few years, I became pregnant with my second son, Jules (“Jools”), so I left the company to focus again on my family.
A few years later, a very serendipitous thing happened. Just as I was trying to decide how to re-enter the floral industry, a corner store in my beloved Roncesvalles neighbourhood came up for lease. I fell in love immediately with the idea of opening a local flower shop and, in June 2015, Willem & Jools was born.
At Willem & Jools, we strive to compose the freshest and most creative designs in Toronto. We are dedicated to style, texture and colour composition and we deeply care about your customer experience.
Having been in the floral business for over 15 years, we’ve developed relationships with over 20 local Ontario farmers and Dutch growers who share our commitment to quality and beauty.