A Padstow-based garden centre's lockdown innovations have helped it to not only stay afloat during the pandemic - but also grow its business through the pandemic.

Trevisker Garden Centre, a family run garden centre located in the north of Cornwall, decided it wanted to not only survive the Covid-19 pandemic, but also thrive through it.

The owners of Trevisker Garden Centre, Mark and Sián Sandry, made numerous innovations to their business over the last 12 months to keep operating despite being faced with a landscape of changing restrictions.

Facing enforced closure at the busiest time of the year for garden centres in the UK, Trevisker Garden Centre quickly implemented both a click and collect and local delivery system which together meant the business was able to continue operating, before carrying through to a record-breaking summer which saw a 30% increase in sales over the year.

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Sián said: "We were initially quite frightened at the thought of missing out on the spring and early summer trade.

"Fortunately, in the first lockdown, we were only closed for one day before learning that we could still operate from our front door.

"Our reaction was simply to just find a way to keep going.

"Part of what we love about this job, and what our customers love, is being able to interact face to face, so we’d never planned to offer delivery, but it was the natural thing to do considering the circumstances."

Falmouth Packet: Mark and Sián Sandry, owners of Trevisker Garden Centre. Picture: Tom MeldrumMark and Sián Sandry, owners of Trevisker Garden Centre. Picture: Tom Meldrum

After launching its new service on social media, the green-fingered couple quickly worked to develop a new stock management system, as well as build and launch an online shop.

The pandemic also saw customer numbers decrease, as holidaymakers were no longer able to visit the area.

Not to be put off by this, the garden centre seized the opportunity that the increased time at home and good weather brought to the industry, quickly changing their offering from specialist coastal plants to vegetable garden essentials to meet the new local customer demand.

Trevisker Garden Centre has previously been supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth & Skills Hub, and their response to the pandemic has been an inspiring example of resilience.

Skills Connector Ian Watkins said: "Trevisker is a shining example of how a strong business plan and an intricate understanding of your own systems and processes can result in a business that’s able to innovate and adapt to face uncertainty head-on."

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Not content with changes to its garden centre side, Trevisker’s Kitchen, the garden centre’s restaurant which is operated by chef Henk de Villiers, transformed into a chef’s larder, selling ingredients and supplies which would have gone unused, as well as turning into a popular takeaway.

As well as all of this, together with Padstow fishing boat ‘Karen of Ladram’, Trevisker Garden Centre also launched a regular pop-up fish market in the car park, helping both the local fishermen impacted by Brexit, and providing increased footfall for the businesses at Trevisker.

Owner Mark Sandry said: "Since we started the garden centre over 20 years ago, we’ve always had to continuously adapt how we do things to keep up with growth, changing trends and our customers’ needs.

"I was once told that 'every problem is an opportunity’ and I fully believe it now.

"That’s the approach we’ve taken to the pandemic and whilst opportunities might be hard to spot, they’re always there."

More details can be found on Trevisker Garden Centre's Facebook page: Facebook.com/TreviskerGC

For more information about the Growth Hub, visit: ciosgrowthhub.com.