A thriving gardening equipment business has invested in new two-storey premises to meet the growing demand for its products.
Family-run firm Gustharts is remaining on the Blagdon Estate, Northumberland, but has swapped its former 3,000 sq ft site for a new 6,500 sq ft building, featuring a flagship showroom and 3,000 sq ft of additional storage space.
Established in 1985, the company sells to gardeners and those working in the woodland, landscape and arborist trades.
A major dealer in STIHL and VIKING products, its range includes everything from chainsaws to hedge-trimmers.
Gustharts is also the biggest tree climbing equipment supplier in the North of England, supplying many colleges across the UK, and exporting both to EEC countries and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia.
The move follows the most successful year to date for the business, run by Rob Gusthart, his brother-in-law Michael and his nephew Phillip Mitchell.
In 2012, it grew turnover by 15 percent to bypass the £1m mark, and despite poor weather, April 2013 was the best ever month ever recorded for the business.
The change in premises was driven by the need for a larger storage area and a good quality display space for demonstrations.
After it was built, the Gustharts, which employs nine staff, invested £120,000 in a state-of-the-art shop fit and green IT equipment.
Rob Gusthart said: “Now we have the bigger showroom customer equipment demos are much easier and people are browsing or just popping in to look round, as opposed to before in our smaller workshop when we didn’t have much passing trade.
“We have even got a 20 foot tree in the centre of the showroom to try out harnesses and in the summer we’re hoping to take customers outside onto the Blagdon Estate to test equipment too.”
The investment in the green IT facilities was handled by EastQuayIT who installed a number of veryPCs and averyPC server, designed to consume less power.
Built using a unique chassis which comprises 100 percent alluminum sourced from renewable and geothermal resources, the computers are engineered to consume around 80 percent less power than a standard PC.
Director at EastQuayIT, Ian Fraser, said: “EastQuayIT is happy to be working with Gustharts and to be helping the family firm further develop its green credentials following its recent move, by reducing power consumption and incorporating recyclable equipment into its IT infrastructure.”
At the official opening ceremony was Blagdon estate owner Lord Ridley and managing director of STIHL GB, Robin Lennie, who praised the Gustharts for their 27 years as a STIHL dealer.
“They are a pleasure to work with and give excellent customer service, reliable technical support as well as sound advice to their customers,” he said.
“On behalf of all at STIHL, I congratulate them on this new flagship premises.’’