How I Got Started: Alan Beaumont, managing director, Greenfingers cash and carry

Alan Beaumont, managing director, Greenfingers cash and carry. Image: HW
Alan Beaumont, managing director, Greenfingers cash and carry. Image: HW

How did you get started? I started at a nursery at the age of 12. Then I went to a parks department when I left school and then to Pershore College, with the middle year spent at Blooms of Bressingham. After that I went and got experience elsewhere before eventually starting Greenfingers.

What does your typical day involve? There are never two days the same. Usually it will be dealing with customers, dealing with suppliers, possibly visiting them. I look after the production side as well. Or even talking to Horticulture Week reporters. Literally no two days are the same.

What is the best part of your job? I enjoy the whole job. You get up in the morning and you just want to come to work and you don't know what the day is going to bring. The main things that I really enjoy are dealing with well-grown plants, whether our own or from suppliers, satisfying customers' needs and the appreciation of achieving that. And lastly, meeting so many nice people in this industry.

And the worst? Bureaucracy really is my pet hate. If I'm here on a Sunday filling in government forms, it really winds me up.

What piece of kit can't you do without? Probably my pipe. I think anyone who knows me would probably agree with that. Seriously, though, I suppose it's our computer systems. We handle more than 10,000 lines of plants, which we couldn't do without a computer.

How do you relax? I enjoy a good meal in the evening and I have got a black labrador, which I enjoy walking. And, of course, spending time with my wife. We have a bungalow down in Wales, so we tend to chill out there. You do need to have an escape and ours is getting down there and taking the dog for a walk on the beach.


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