Me & My Job - Colin Barrie, owner, Caulders Garden Centre

Colin Barrie, owner, Caulders Garden Centre - image: HW
Colin Barrie, owner, Caulders Garden Centre - image: HW

How has your season been? We had a superb March, terrible April and since 15 May we have picked up again, proving we are utterly weather dependent. May will end up reasonable, not brilliant, but not as bad as last May. We are 25 per cent up on last May, but last May was terrible. The public is buoyant and keen to buy, when the sun shines they come in. The recession is not having much effect. Plants are going well and bedding has been great.

How did you get started in the industry? I started 13 years ago with a centre at Mugdock and I bought a second from Klondyke at Kirkintilloch, which was their first centre. We have three centres now and plan to move on a do more over the next few years. Not a lot comes up in Scotland but there are still opportunities out there.

How do you attract staff? Recruiting good staff is quite difficult. I don't know whether the industry is attracting the right staff. We're training our own staff and working for the long haul.

Do you buy local? I'm conscious to buy as much Scottish-grown material as possible. We're promoting ourselves as a local, friendly, independent business, which the Garden Centre Association would say is the way forward.

What is the best aspect of your job? It's a great industry and there's a great future. You're selling to a nice customer base. It's not a hard sell but very, very soft. It's nice to be selling something that brightens up people's lives and makes them happy.

And the worst? Dealing with banks.

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