GTN January/February 2022 - Garden Trade News, UK

Page 16

Thinking outside the box

The Garden Kitchen servery and signage, clearly linked to Pughs Garden centre credentials

team care about their place of work. Pugh’s know they cannot compete with many trades on pay rates, perhaps not even able to match some other high street retailers. The package on top of the good work environment is supplemented with many of the benefits expected these days by staff. This has been brought into focus over recent months of the pandemic and is at the top of the family’s agenda with a recent launch of a Health Assurance Scheme for staff which gives them access to a 24-hour help line for support with mental health and wellbeing worries. Staff Discounts, Monthly Prize Draws, Individual Staff Life Insurance, Annual Personal Development Reviews, Uniform Allowance, Yearly Holiday Giveaway, Increasing holiday entitlement based upon years of service , all go towards making Pugh’s a great place to work. Certainly, every member of staff we talked to was passionate about the job and the business they work for. Little wonder then that the family have recently launched a scheme that incentivises family and friends of existing staff to come and join the business. The launch marketing for “Coffee and Plants in Wales” has been done entirely online through social media. New independent media channels were set up for the new business, harnessing the power of foodie and lifestyle bloggers, even before the Kitchen was opened. Their objective was to create

16 January / February 2022

Team members wearing uniform that incorporates floral design used throught

you get into all the product mix of gifting and gardening lines again with the emphasis on local wherever possible. Even the candle range is a locally made range by a father and son team with a great local back story. Producers now hunt out Pugh’s as they recognise them as a force to join with. “A recent Taste of Wales trade food fair at the Celtic Manor saw 33 producers make advance requests for meetings with our buyers. A humbling experience and testament to the effort the team have made in putting our food offering together across our three sites” Nicola explained.

Christmas Houseplants adjacent to the deli - why not if they sell?

Welsh Lady Jams and Marmalades. You’d expect nothing else!

the experience where people would want to photograph their food to put onto their posts and share. Attention to detail like the aesthetically pleasing toilets are a talking point, for the right reasons, and another reason for people to comment to friends and followers. Cross marketing with the 30,000 plus engaged followers on social media via their Radyr centre and a further 15,000 similarly committed cohort from Wenvoe has brought customers who might have eaten at Radyr to the Rogerstone site, but Nicola identifies the enormous opportunities ahead for more cross selling of the sites and for on-line sales of other products like garden furniture and outdoor heating. This will be a focus for next season as the logistics of the new online facilities and distribution hub come to fruition. ‘Local’ is a key ingredient in the recipe of success in Pugh’s food offering through their hospitality and sales of food for retail. In The Garden Kitchen the deli counter offers locally produced cheeses (as well as those from further afield), local butcher produced pies, Scotch Eggs and other delights. Then there are getting on for 1,000 other items before

33 producers made advance requests for meetings with our buyers Only just 2 miles and no more than 10 minutes off J28 of the M4, next time you are heading that direction make The Garden Kitchen by Pugh’s your stop off point rather than the M4 services at Magor or Cardiff West. You won’t be disappointed. Be prepared to join a bit of a queue for your refreshments, but everything we saw coming out of the kitchen looked well worth any wait! What comes next? In addition to looking for other sites suitable for more Pugh’s Kitchens, the new Food Hall at the Wenvoe centre, developing a specialist logistics and fulfilment centre for the online shop and customer deliveries are all underway, more thinking outside the box is a certainty. Another member of the family is an Occupational Therapist . What opportunities could there be utilising her skills in health referral, rehabilitation, and wellbeing combined with the recognised benefits of plants and gardening in good mental health? You might have to wait and see, but the rate this Welsh family move at it won’t be for long.