Phase two, involving a full refurbishment to the main area restaurant of the Potting Shed, is due in early 2015.
The original Potting Shed Café has been extended to include a orangery-style space, increasing covers from 80 to 164.
The Potting Shed Café extension has six chandeliers, two of which are made from cups and saucers, patchwork floor tiles have been used in one section of the seating area, bistro-style tables and soft furnishings in check, blue and green. Phase one also included the re-cladding to the existing servery counter.
The brief to CDG was to design a café space which would continue to appeal to Eastfield’s mature customer base, while also appealing to younger customers, who previously may not have considered visiting the garden centre to use the café. The space also had to appeal to locals and visitors from the surrounding areas who travel as part of a day out to visit the garden centre and enjoy the café’s home-cooked dishes.
Joan Stephenson, joint owner with husband Brian and son Michael at Eastfield Garden Centre, said: "I first met Catering Design Group at last year’s Glee show. I gave them our brief and explained who our target audience is - we appeal to a more mature clientele, however, also wanted to appeal to a younger demographic without alienating our loyal clientele. If I’m totally honest they were the only design company I visited at Glee who actually took the time to listen to exactly what we wanted to achieve. CDG took on board what I said and delivered the brief to our exact requirements, surpassing our expectations.
"Within the dining space, we wanted to create a separate area for afternoon teas, something that customers would consider special and create a real experience for them. We wanted something that was different, yet traditional with the area for afternoon tea clearly defined from the main dining room space. It’s proving so popular that we’re now asking customers to book in advance to avoid any disappointments.
"Because of our clientele, we didn’t want an ultra-modern space – however, CDG managed to make a modern feature of the floor, yet keep the overall feel of the space traditional by using beautiful, random floor titles to divide the space between the restaurant and after tea area. In the team room, they commissioned two chandeliers made out of tea cups which are absolutely stunning and have created an instant talking point with several of our customers.
"We are definitely busier than we’ve ever been since the refurbishment. Prior to it taking place, we were doing 170 carveries on a Sunday and now we’re doing about 230 which is just excellent. The feedback from customers has been great – customers are saying that they’re really impressed and we’ve also been able to attract a younger clientele.
"I would definitely recommend Catering Design Group to other garden centre operators. They listened to what I wanted to achieve and delivered on what they promised."