Garden centre expands with new restaurant

A Bedfordshire-based garden centre has expanded its facility with a new 350-seat restaurant, coffee shop and deli, following a £1m loan from HSBC.

Poplars Garden Centre in Dunstable completed the expansion earlier this year to help the business keep pace with demand from the centre’s restaurant visitors. It is anticipated that the increased capacity and additional services will enable the restaurant to increase turnover by more than 42 per cent.

The expansion has also enabled the family-run business, which sells locally-sourced produce, to create an additional 15 jobs to support the increased services, including new bakers and a pizza chef.

Managing director David Little said: “Our business is situated close to Junction 12 of the M1, and as such we are popular with coach visitors as well as members of the local community. We have a high demand for our restaurant and we simply couldn’t meet such high levels of demand prior to the new extension.

“HSBC’s support has enabled us to extend our restaurant facility, marking the start of an exciting new stage in the growth of our business. We’re now able to offer guests breakfast, lunch and afternoon-tea as well as a greater range of meal choices, all within our expanded restaurant.”

Andrew Franklin, area director for business banking in Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes, added: “We are committed to helping British businesses realise their growth ambitions. Poplars is a dynamic local business that has continued to grow steadily. This recent finance package has enabled them to increase capacity, provide new facilities for customers and create new jobs in the local area.”

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