Pinewood Nurseries was established in 1982 by the Ango/ Dutch partnership of Adrian and Patricia Franke. After growing salad crops commercially for about 15 years the 2 acre glasshouse-nursery went into pot plant and hanging basket production. This then naturally progressed into retail, as well as a wholesale outlet. Retail was not new to the family as
they had been selling Christmas Trees on the site since 1982. Pinewood is now a place renowned in the local area for its bedding plants, hanging baskets and superb poinsettia crop at Christmas. Their great location, based just off the M40, M25 and M4, has helped. By being on the fringe of greater London they are able to offer a taste of the countryside to visitors from the city as well as a quick reliable service for business customers.
In recent years the nursery has been taken on by the next generation of Frankes, sisters Marie and Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s
husband Tom, who have implemented many changes to enhance the retail aspects of the business. Three years ago they set up a farm shop within the grounds of the nursery. This offers the local community, and visitors from further a field, a shopping experience to counter the stresses and burdens of the modern weekly shop. They have gained the
support of local suppliers over the last three years and stock local meat, bread, milk, eggs, honey, jams, cakes, apple juice, yoghurts, as well as a comprehensive range of English grown fruit and vegetables. All products are of the highest quality but kept at prices to rival the supermarkets. Co-director Liz Robinson highlights that ‘people are starting to realise that they are becoming trapped into shopping in supermarkets – this inevitably reduces the selection and variety or products people are able to purchase. We are also pleased to offer an alternative shopping experience’. This shopping experience appeals to all generations and lifestyles; from families on the weekend, mums on the school run, young couples attracted to the award winning products or a relaxed shopping environment for older folk.
They are proud to say that we now rear their own pork on site and it is proving extremely popular. Just this year they have created a
relaxing outdoor seating area, complete with pygmy goat and sheep paddock and a scented herb garden, to rest weary feet and keep the little ones amused. They are currently planning to create an extension to their family business in the shape of a tea room, planned for 2010, which carries on the Pinewood theme of quality and local produce.
The plant portfolio has increased in the last 18 months with the outside paddock area now stocking a wide range of shrubs, trees, perennials and herbaceous plants which caters for landscapers as well as adventurous garden owners. Tom Robinson, co-director, has used his management experience to improve wholesale services for landscapers, as well as encourage larger customers, such as the National Trust, to take
advantage of their knowledge of the industry and growing skills. Over the last three years they have held promotional events to draw attention to new features and products of the nursery and farm shop which are advertised on their website as well as through their customer database.
“Pinewood is such an exciting place to be!’ Marie Jackson, co-director, ‘Although we are always trying to better ourselves and improve our services we manage to retain the intimacy of the business that was started all those years ago by Mum and Dad. Our strong nursery roots keep us clear of the tat and clutter accustomed to the modern garden centres allowing us to be unique. The fact that it is family run is massively appealing to our customers because they can tell immediately that there is a great deal of love and care involved in what we do.”
The Franke family have been very busy at their Farm Shop at Pinewood Nurseries. This summer the shop is bursting with an even greater range of new local products. The most recent additions to their range includes tasty yoghurts from Tim's Dairy, Chalfont St. Peter. Tim’s dedicated team at the dairy in the Chiltern Hills have created their natural, wholesome products using the finest ingredients.
Pinewood are also proud to be stocking quiches, ice-creams and cakes from Loseley Bakery, Surrey. There is a lot to see at Pinewood, including their two pet goats Clemie and Rose and their herd of piggies who love to tuck in to the left over farm shop vegetables. The Farm Shop specialise in traditional food from independent suppliers - from award winning Camel Valley Brut to Rambler’s Kitchen’s diabetic cakes, Burnham. They’re ever increasing range of fresh meat now includes pork and venison from Pickles Farm, Princess Risborough