Back in 2017, the directors of Pugh’s Garden Village identified an opportunity to increase sales at its centre in Wenvoe, South Wales. With Pugh’s in Radyr witnessing a significant rise in footfall and sales following a refurbishment in 2015, it was time to focus on the outlet in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Previously, Wenvoe operated a simple 90sq m café. With demand for family destinations on the rise and the Garden Village recognised locally as a place to go for a day out, it was time to increase the offer.
Work began on a complete café/restaurant rebuild in early 2017 after obtaining planning permission for a new build on previously unused land behind the centre. The existing coffee shop remained in operation until construction work required it to close in late 2017, when a pop-up café was erected offering tea, coffee, cakes and pastries.
In place of the old coffee shop, Pugh’s invited national brand The Works to open its second store in a Garden Village to help attract the target family demographic.
The Orange Tree launched in February 2018 with a new kitchen large enough to offer freshly home-made food on site. Now, with its own chef, the outlet’s menu has a plethora of freshly home-made meals, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, using local free-range ingredients where possible.
The restaurant is designed to "bring the outdoors in" with a rustic environment that leaves visitors feeling as though they have dined in an indoor garden. A real-log fire creates a cosy environment while a botanical wall features large glass sliding doors looking out onto the planteria.
The interior design also features foliage suspended from the ceiling that, paired with wooden facades, natural features and ambient lighting, creates a much photographed and unique dining experience.
Launch activities included a garden party PR event and a leaflet drop to 16,050 homes offering the centre’s neighbours 20% off.
The team recently celebrated The Orange Tree’s first birthday, and what a year it has been. The original coffee shop took £16,027 in December 2016. In December 2018, The Orange Tree took £49,830. Pugh’s has also celebrated a record February half-term week earlier this year, with The Orange Tree café taking £14,118.
Assessing the garden centre as a whole since The Orange Tree’s opening, the team saw a 44.98% increase in overall sales in June 2018 and footfall has risen by 79%.
The Old Moat Garden Centre & Café
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