Beckwith Emporium plans to sell only in-season stock

Thirty years' experience in the garden centre business has led to a new concept from former Blooms garden centres managing director Jon Kitching.

His new Beckwith Emporium on the site of the former Gaggini's Plant Centre in Northamptonshire features only in-season plants.

But Kitching says the concept will work only because of Beckwith's strong "market style" farmshop and home-grown element.

He said: "We're not a garden centre. We have no gifts, furniture or tools. But we have a home-grown produce side and a fruit and veg side. The focus is on home-grown and local produce.

"We're growing our own bedding and shrubs to give a fresh feel to the place. Garden centres diversified to flatten out sales but our farmshop element will give us regular, year-round customers.

"This means that we can have market-style displays of plants that look really good, for instance Rhododendron and Aubretia in spring."

 

Details of the project

  • Cost of set-up is £1m
  • Expected annual turnover for 2009/10 is £1.5m
  • Features 130-cover restaurant
  • Will have 35 staff, including part-timers

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