Haskins Garden Centres is celebrating its 20th anniversary since it purchased its Roundstone centre, in Angmering, West Sussex.
The independent family business acquired the site from Roundstone Nurseries in 2000, with all former staff joining the team. Today, eight of the original staff still work for Haskins, with Sue Ross, Customer Service Assistant, having worked at the Roundstone site for almost 50 years.
Commenting on her role over the years, Sue said: “I can remember Mr Richard Cahn (Roundstone Nurseries’ Managing Director/Owner) and myself visiting Haskins’ redeveloped centre in Dorset in the nineties and we came away inspired, that is how I first became aware of the company.
“Haskins has introduced so many positive, forward-thinking initiatives that are still in keeping with our original values. It was reassuring when Haskins acquired the business, that we already knew there was synergy between the brands, and we would remain part of a family business.
“Haskins has evolved the centre and our offering in so many ways and as such my role has changed over the years. In the past I dealt with reps and buying in the centre and now work in customer service. Interacting with customers is my favourite part of the job, every day is different, and I enjoy seeing our regulars that often come to the centre.
“It is really heartwarming to have customers come to the centre, that used to visit as a child with their parents, who now bring their children to Haskins and remember me from when they were little.”
Following acquisition in 2000, Haskins unveiled plans to undertake a £13million redevelopment at the site in 2011. The new garden centre’s expansion included a significantly larger outdoor plant area, a 500 seated restaurant with function rooms and a larger car park. This led to a further fifty full and part time staff joining the team. The new centre was officially opened in March 2012.
20 years ago the centre would have received roughly 400,000 customers a year, in comparison to the latest stats that show Roundstone now receives over a million customers a year, aided by the centre’s expansion and 500 seated restaurant.