New garden centre officially opens

A NEW community garden centre has been officially opened just three months after its predecessor went bust.

Shrub Shack has taken over part of the old Roundtrees garden centre site in Congresbury and hopes its friendly atmosphere will provided the platform for a successful future.

The co-operative business, run by Steve Phillips, Joanna Northcott, David Watson and Matilda Tone, opened for a fortnight ago and the early signs look positive.

Steve said: “It was a really nice feeling [to open] and everyone is really supportive, friendly and welcoming.”

In December the site was vacated by Roundtrees garden centre after its parent company Wheatfields Park Ltd went bust.

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The firm, which owned another site in Tickenham and Blagdon Water Gardens, made 33 of its 40 staff immediately redundant.

Steve said the landlord had struggled to let the whole site and decided to carve it into smaller units for businesses that otherwise were priced out of taking it over.

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Shrub Shack, situated near the Butterfly Effect visitor attraction and Heather’s caf� in Smallway, expects to be joined by a swimming pool firm and other businesses in the near future.

One difficulty it faces is the competition provided by Cadbury Garden & Leisure Centre based just yards down the road.

But Steve, who lives in Yatton, said he thought Shrub Shack could offer something different, even if it does not make Cadbury ‘quake in its boots’.

He said: “Customers like it here because it is small and has a nice friendly feel and we have to time to chat to people about their individual needs.

“We are always looking for local growers and we are happy to speak to them. We like to source from within 20 miles of here and grow things ourselves.”

And Shrub Shack is keen to do its bit for the environment and encourages everyone to visit and help its proactive recycling drive and organic ethos.

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