A dynamic duo

Brandon Beattie and Christo Ferreira are no ordinary Garden Centre owners! Bringing a smile, enthusiasm and their gorgeous Weimaraner dog called Emmett, this dynamic duo are ready to breathe new life in to the Palmers Welcome Bay store.

These two are no strangers to rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in. Having had illustrious careers in retail management and finance, Brandon and Christo are more than ready to face this new challenge.

Originally hailing from Palmerston North and Dannevirke, Brandon and Christo have made the move up to the Bay of Plenty and now call a Mid-Century Stucco, in Brookfield, their home. On their new life in a new town, the duo couldn’t be more ecstatic; “we absolutely love it,” smiles Brandon, “the people, the feeling of community, the amazing cafes and restaurants.”

Although their lives are full on and most of their days are spent in the store, Brandon and Christo have managed to do a bit of exploring around their new town. “Emmett loves Papamoa Beach!” Christo exclaims.

Only a month in, Brandon and Christo credit the amazing staff at Palmers Welcome Bay and the surrounding community for their support which has ensured a smooth transition in taking over the store.

What can we expect the future at Palmers Welcome Bay to look like? Well there’s a free coffee on Father’s Day with every purchase at the Garden Centre. “Browse the garden centre and then treat Dad to a lovely breakfast or brunch at Café Botannix, it’s the perfect way to spend Father’s Day,” Christo says.

Brandon and Christo continue to brainstorm ideas and look for ways to innovate and provide new offerings and experiences never before seen at Palmers Welcome Bay. “We’ve actually been phoned at 10pm at night by the IT company who operate our till system, telling us to go home so they can make computer updates,” the couple disclose.

Their main aim is to keep the garden centre well stocked with all their customers’ usual favourites such as fruit trees, potted colour and of course houseplants. The team have a lovely selection. The moment daylight savings kicks in Christo and Brandon will be mucking in to improve the road-side appearance of the store.

With Spring just around the corner, we asked for the top planting tips and garden advice, and the products to look out for.

The Michelia Paton Pink is a delightful small evergreen tree that is perfect for gardens of all sizes. Hebe Pretty in Pink produces an abundance of pink flowers that last a long time (late Autumn to late Winter), plant in a sunny, well-drained spot.

Another sneaky favourite this season is the Lavender Ruffles Purpleberry, “it’s a must have for lavender lovers, the Ruffles selection is incredibly sought after by our customers, and the purpleberry is the newest addition,” Christo tells us, “it has gorgeous dark violet blooms, it is a true statement lavender for New Zealand gardens, plus it’s great for the bees!”

“September is such a great month in the garden, gardeners look forward to it all year,” Brandon says, “there’s so much to do in the garden; the soil is warming up, plants are coming in to flower, fresh new Spring  growth is happening and the weather starts improving so you can actually get outside and in to your garden.”

As for trends to look out for, Brandon and Christo have been busy visiting gift fairs throughout the North Island, whilst also keeping an eye on the overseas markets to bring you new and fresh décor, homewares and gifts.

Brandon and Christo have met so many wonderful Welcome Bay customers already. More and more are coming in each day to say ‘hi’, which they absolutely love! If you haven’t popped in recently, make sure you do, they can’t wait to be on a first name basis with their customers.

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