A North family-run garden centre has won the industry’s top accolade for the third time in just four years.
Cowell’s Garden Centre in Woolsington has taken the title of Garden Centre of the Year 2014 and has also won the coveted Ruxley Rose Plantarea competition by the National Garden Centre Association (GCA).
After rigorous inspection by the team of judges, Cowell’s fought off competition from garden centres across the country, and was recognised as the worthy winner based on its excellent quality and range of plants.
Cowell’s Garden Centre manager Martin Cowell said: “Cowell’s is a small garden centre with a big heart; our plant retailing is what makes us stand out from the crowd. We pride ourselves on growing a great range of new plants on site.
“A substantial amount of our turnover comes from retailing plants and core gardening products. Not a lot of garden centres can say that, as more often these days garden centres will make most of their profits from their cafeteria or the gift range. Our customers come back to us based on our home-grown ethics and excellent quality of care.
“Winning recognition from our industry trade body has been a great way to kick-off the spring gardening season and morale boost to our staff, as well as my Mum and Dad who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Will Armitage, chairman of the GCA, added: “The Ruxley Rose competition focuses specifically on our members’ outdoor plant areas and is regarded as one of our most prestigious awards.
“Cowell’s Garden Centre’s plant retailing is second to none and over the years they have been consistently improving their offer. By also winning our prestigious Garden Centre of the Year Award, Cowell’s proves to be yet again a continuing centre of excellence.”
Father of the business Alan Cowell said: “It’s with thanks to our hardworking staff that we have won this award and we are so proud to be flying the flag as a centre of excellence for gardening products in the North East with a national reputation.
“Garden retailing is a healthy sector which has held its own during the economic downturnh.
“Our Plantarea is one of our latest biggest achievements, with us taking particular pride in the display, quality and customer service of our plants.”
Cowell’s has more than 45 full and part-time staff at its base near Newcastle Airport. Originally opening in 1978 Cowell’s now sells a huge range of plants, core gardening products, giftware and furniture.