Sue and Richard Hearnden began their specialist wholesale alpine plant nursery in the 1980s, when they decided to make use of a few acres of Richard’s family pig farm on Dartmoor to grow plants. The business started as a side line to the couple’s day jobs as trained horticulturalists but it is now a thriving business with two permanent and several seasonal part time employees working alongside Sue and Richard. The business is run mainly on a sale or return basis, and Carrapitt Plants visits retail Garden Centres once a fortnight to manage their alpine beds, taking back anything that has gone beyond saleable quality, and replacing with new stock.
This tailored, personal approach has earned them year on year growth in customers from the South West of England and they are now embarking on online retail sales to complement their wholesale business. However, consistent growth in the business has naturally led to a need for more space to produce larger quantities of plants more efficiently. Before receiving funding, the business had been using a potting shed too small for the mechanised potting machine which it shared with the packing and labelling areas.
Sue and Richard saw in the local paper that the DR Company were managing the Greater Dartmoor Local Enterprise Action Fund 2015-2020 and they approached the DR Company for assistance in applying for funding to build a large, custom built potting shed. Sophia May, Project Advisor for the DR Company, helped them to successfully apply for funding. Carrapitt Plants were granted £10,000 from the Greater Dartmoor Local Enterprise Action Fund to contribute to the building of a custom designed potting shed. Carrapitt Plants now have the appropriate space to produce plants more efficiently.
“Carrapitt Plants came to us after seeing an article about the GD LEAF in the local paper. The funding has meant they can build in time for the new season, well before they had imagined. We anticipate that increased productivity will result in them employing further staff, and their ability to pot and supply increased quantities of plants will profit not only their own business but also the local economy” – Sophia May, Project Advisor, DR