Paynter’s Fruit Market

Feeding the Community for Four Generations

More than 100 years ago, Jennay’s great grandfather, Edwin Paynter, first farmed here, on the 40-acre fruit and vegetable farm now known as Paynter’s Fruit Market.


For more than 70 years, Paynter has been a name synonymous throughout West Kelowna with freshly grown fruits and vegetables, tight-knit community, and a lot of fun. One stroll through Paynter’s Farmers Market with owner and operator Jennay Oliver will show you why.

On the far end of West Kelowna sits Paynter’s Fruit Market, a 40-acre fruit and vegetable farm owned and operated by Jennay Oliver, who is the fourth generation of the Paynter family to work this piece of land. More than 100 years ago, Jennay’s great grandfather, Edwin Paynter, first farmed here. In 1951, her grandfather, Harry Paynter Sr., sold the first pieces of fruit from a roadside stand. Her aunts and uncles took the helm in the ‘80s and then handed the reins to Jennay, who took over the operation in 2007 at the age of 23.

“Farming is a way of life, and it offers this perfectly balanced lifestyle,” says Jennay. “What keeps me passionate is seeing people come in and they’re so excited about when things are ready. They’re so excited that our fruit stand is located right on the orchard, they can walk out and see the fruit growing on the trees.”

Taking over the farm at such a young age, Jennay had to learn on the job; she says she is still constantly learning, as agriculture practices continue to shift and evolve. She credits the support of the farming community for helping her solve problems as they come up. Local organizations like the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission also keep her informed about programs and funding that can support her small business.

“Over the last 10 years, we’ve doubled the production of our farm, and now we’re trying to consolidate, improve, and continue to build the sustainability of the farm and trying to be even more efficient with the fruit stand,” says Jennay. She notes that consumer preferences have also shifted to a more sustainable mindset during this time, with people caring more about food quality and having a connection with where their food comes from.

Farming sustainably means the Paynter’s team is constantly thinking about how to minimize inputs to keep the soil as healthy as possible. They use an array of farming techniques, like rotating fields, planting cover crops, not tilling, and using compost as fertilizer, to support the land. This all leads to fresh, locally grown produce that people buy up with enthusiasm, including chefs at local restaurants like Old Vines at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and The Landing Kitchen + Bar at the Cove Lakeside Resort, both of which are also venues for business meetings and events. 

Making connections in the community extends to Jennay’s relationships with fellow farmers, who she regularly collaborates with. Since they don’t grow every type of fruit and vegetable on the farm, Jennay seeks out local and regional farmers who are growing quality products that can then be sold at Paynter’s Fruit Market, which only carries made in BC products. 

To Jennay, who is raising two young daughters on the farm, the future success of Paynter’s Fruit Market and farming in general extends well beyond her lifetime.

“In 100 years, I would like to see the same amount of land being farmed in the Okanagan that there is right now…it makes our land beautiful and it’s a huge part of our economy.”