Garden centre manager Craig Forbes said:
"We spent years creating something that looked similar to a castle in many respects which would complement the Royal Deeside area and neighbouring Drum and Crathes Castles.
"We wanted to create a garden centre that felt special, yet whilst it may be regarded as up market, actually retails reasonably priced products. The Mains of Drum took six years of planning, three years to develop and has now far exceeded initial expectations within the first 24 months of trading."
The work by the Forbes family at The Mains of Drum has been recognised with a nomination in the "business success under three years" category in the Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 2011.
Businesses in this category have achieved or are on track to achieve exceptional, sustainable organic growth in any market sector. The Mains of Drum will face competition from Ellon-based LFH Engineering Limited and Altor Risk Group Limited from Aberdeen.
"There are a number of families involved in our business instilling a real family spirit throughout the team. We aim to pass on these family values to our customers during their visit.
"In the retail and catering industry staff turnover can be high, however the team has continued to work together for the last two years. We like to encourage our employees to get involved in the business and try to develop as much input from individuals as possible. This approach has fostered a loyal team of employees who play a key role in sustaining the success at The Mains of Drum.
"In our two years of operations, The Mains of Drum has developed relationships with the local community, engaging with local schools and groups. We regularly donate flowers and gardening equipment to both Culter and Drumoak Primary Schools, and host tours and talks both on plants and on the running of the business with the pupils. We have in fact just entered into a business partnership with Culter Primary School to further develop our relationship. This year we are supporting ‘Culter In Bloom’ by donating plants to the Culter Gala Celebrations and a hanging basket display in Peterculter."
He said: "The family had little or no prior retail background, but we have managed to deliver and develop a high quality retail experience. The business has continued to grow from strength to strength and despite three of the worst winter seasons in 40 years; footfall and sales continue to exceed initial expectations."
Pleydell Smithyman was architect on the scheme.
The Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 2011 are on 30 June.