Owned by James and Michelle Debbage, the family-run plant centre and farm shop was recently redeveloped to include the Gardener's Kitchen restaurant and a Post Office. This increased turnover by 135% in the 12 months following refurbishment.
Green Pastures began 25 years ago as a small retail nursery run by Michelle's parents. Bedding plants and perennials are still homegrown, with hanging baskets a speciality.
When taking over from Michelle's parents in 2009, Michelle and James relaunched the farm shop. More than 40 types of salads and herbs are grown in the centre for use in the restaurant and farm shop, and 70 East Anglian suppliers are used.
The garden shop offers a focused range of gardening and gift products, linking to the restaurant. In the limited space of the shop there are many seasonal changes, including new Christmas gift ranges, with 300 homemade hampers produced.
The Post Office counter has proved an essential local service with an average 2,860 transactions a month. Green Pastures has introduced a range of greeting cards with its own plant pictures. Sales have rocketed.
The plant centre adopts a "plants for places" style of merchandising for nursery stock and a local purchasing policy is applied.
This year Green Pastures introduced an electronic point of sale system with weekly best seller reports analysed to help purchasing and display decisions, enabling a "VIPea Club" customer loyalty scheme to be launched.
The centre hosts regular events and entertainment including themed evenings and days as well as a Christmas market. Staff numbers are now at 35 and turnover is low.
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