20 March 2018

The Garden Shop: An oasis of calm in a sea of chaos

Since Sue Brown took over The Garden Shop in 2014, the bespoke, micro-garden centre has flourished into an expanding horticultural tourist destination, complete with a dog-friendly café, garden centre and gift shop.

Soon, her premises will include an onsite workspace for artisans and craftsman thanks to support she has received through the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.

Speaking about her experience using the Growth Hub and its referral and introduction to the Growth Support Programme, Sue says: “What a completely fabulous service and I have already recommended the Growth Hub to local business owners. This is the best thing I have done for my business – perhaps ever in business!”

Sue is aware that, “the buck stops with me so I can be everything from chief cook to bottle washer to creative designer in a day.” Simply finding the time to focus on her growth ambitions or source the most appropriate funding stream was proving a challenge.

Under the ERDF funded Growth Support Programme, Petra Davies from the Business Information Point (BIP), provided Sue with tailored 1:1 business advice sessions. “I was getting muddled about the best way forward and where to invest in the business. Petra provided objective, professional advice to help me see the wood through the trees and focus on a single path to realise my goals. I have reached a successful solution three times faster than I would have done alone.”

Since receiving her support package, Sue has sourced the most appropriate form of funding for her project and work has begun to refurbish derelict barns on the premises. These barns will become unique workshops for local craftsman to operate out of. Finished by spring, the sustainable workshops will be a welcome attraction for tourists who flock to The Garden Shop each year, enjoying the tranquillity and local delights that the garden centre offers.

“One of the most important outcomes from the support I have received is gaining self-confidence in my capabilities as a business owner. After independently reviewing my business, Petra showed me that I already had the business acumen to overcome what felt like an insurmountable problem… I just needed the tools too.”

Described locally as a “delightfully cosy oasis of calm in a sea of chaos” The Devon-based business provides a family friendly atmosphere for green-fingered shoppers. With an emphasis on ‘keeping it local’ The Garden Shop only stocks plant varieties grown in the South West, all food is locally produced and even the timber used during refurbishment work is sustainably sourced from the Duchy.

Contact the Growth Hub to find out about 1:1 fully funded local support  for your business.

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