Family-run garden centre to receive £5 million makeover in Almondsbury
A FAMILY-run garden centre in Almondsbury, which has stood the test of time, remaining a village fixture for the last 80 years, is due for an extensive £5 million overhaul next spring.
Almondsbury Garden Centre will see its four greenhouses demolished and replaced by a state-of-the-art complex as part of a major rebuild in May 2014.
The small coffee shop will make way for a restaurant and deli. A farm shop and a pets, reptiles and aquatics store also open their doors in the spacious new building.
The current 220-bay car park will be expanded to create a further 80 spaces. New baby changing facilities and disabled toilets will be fitted to cater to the needs of all customers.
The new complex will be much more suited to its surroundings and follow the natural curve of the 18-acre site.
The refurbishment is expected to be complete in mid-2015. Phil Hodges, managing director, said:
"We are extremely excited about the plans for redevelopment at Almondsbury. It is important to my family and I, that we do rebuild the garden centre, for both the community and the business itself.
"The support from our customers both far and wide is one of the main reasons for ensuring that we have a building and facilities that match the quality of our products and our team."
He added: "We have had a successful business in Bristol for 80 years and we see no reason why it will not be around for 80 more. We are building for the future, a legacy for our children and somewhere that inspires all gardeners."
Fred Hodges started what is now Almondsbury Garden Centre in 1933, renting a 16-room house and 7.5 acres of land from the Hiatt Baker family for 26 shillings a week. Back then his "kitchen" plots produced fruit, vegetables and flowers for both his own family and the community.
The garden centre team is keen to receive feedback on interior design features, colour scheme ideas and recommendations from its loyal customers.
The renovation plans are now on display at the shop and locals will be able to drop in to leave comments in a suggestion box.
"We now want to engage with our extended family to find out what they would like to see inside our new centre," added Mr Hodges.
"We welcome ideas on our brand, colour schemes, uniforms, products as well as any other suggestions that you feel will help our fantastic local business grow."
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