The boss of one Dorset’s longest-established businesses says the acquisition of a new garden centre has had “an energising effect” throughout the whole company.
Speaking during a visit to recently acquired Abbey Garden Centre at Titchfield, Martin Stewart, managing director of Dorset-based Stewarts Garden Centres said the acquisition had been greeted with “huge enthusiasm” by all the company’s 280 staff.
Abbey Garden Centre was acquired by Stewarts at the end of last year for an undisclosed sum. The site covers seven acres and employs 42 people.
The purchase was announced just a week after Stewarts received planning approval for its Broomhill site in Dorset.
Mr Stewart said: “The acquisition of Abbey Garden Centre has had an amazing response from staff. It’s had an energising effect across the whole company.
“Our team regard Abbey as the new younger sibling. They’ve even made trips over to Titchfield in their own time to see for themselves the newest member of the family.
“We have a lot on our plate at the moment but we would certainly be interested in acquiring more businesses like Abbey Garden Centre in the future if they tick all the boxes for us.”
Stewarts can trace its roots back to 1742 when it was founded by Charles Stewart, the great, great, great grandfather of Martin Stewart.
The company has two garden centres in Dorset – Broomhill and Christchurch – as well as interior and exterior landscaping businesses. Many of its plants are grown on its own nursery and are also sold to other garden centres in the UK and Channel Islands.
Martin praised the work of his accountants, PKF Francis Clark, during the acquisition of Abbey Garden Centre.
Mark Johns, a Partner with PKF Francis Clark, said: “We count ourselves very lucky to have Stewarts Garden Centre as a client and are delighted to have assisted in the acquisition of Abbey Garden Centre.
“To look after a company with such an amazing history stretching back 275 years is very unusual. Its continuing success is a testament to the hard work and passion of Martin and his team.”