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All about Glebe Garden Centre

Glebe Garden Centre Leicester was one of the very first purpose built centres to be constructed on a green field site and was officially opened by Cyril Fletcher in spring 1975 just outside of Countesthorpe, Leicestershire.

The Proprietor at the time was Mr Roy Carter who had very strong interest in gardening. In 1979 Mr Carter and his family moved to the Isle of Man, where they still live happily in retirement to this day. Then Glebe Garden Centre Leicester was taken over by Mr Bernard Hanraads and Mrs Mary Knifton in 1979.

Bernard was employed originally in the Planteria and Mary was Roy's secretary. Over the 1980's we saw a steady increase in business.

The first big expansion happened in 1990 to accommodate the growth. In 1999 we purchased the adjoining fields - approximately 11 acres.

In 2000, Glebe Garden Centre Leicester entered BBC Gardeners World. We designed and constructed a garden called "Lock Stock & Barrel". We were awarded the Silver Gilt medal, what an experience that was!

Early in the spring of 2002 the second expansion started on doubling the size of the existing building. This was a massive project. The building was completed in July 2002. Unfortunately it was at this time when Mary became ill and sadly passed away in February 2004.

Our continued support in the community went a step further in 2005 with hosting the annual family bonfire firework display which now attracts more than 3500 people each year. All proceeds go to the local Scout group and Greenfield's Primary School.

The same year we launched our own Loyalty Card, which now has over 12,000 members. We felt it was very important to reward our customers as with out you we don't have a business. Communications are very important and we continue to improve this all the time.

As the recession began to bite in 2008 it became very apparent to me how important the coffee shop was within the garden centre (which at the time was a franchise). So in March 2009 we brought it under our own control and it's now called Chives Coffee Shop Leicester. Each year it continues to grow with popularity. We use local suppliers where we can and all our food is cooked and prepared daily ensuring it's nice and fresh.

In 2009 we introduced our Drive Thru, just another way of improving customer service at Glebe Garden Centre Leicester. Now you can take your car through into the compost area and we will take the strain out of all the loading.

In the same year we started a Gardening Club. We currently meet every month on the second Thursday in the evening. This is just another way of keeping in touch with our customers and has become very popular.

In the spring of 2011 we took this a stage further with our own large veg plot, where all the produce will be used in Chives Coffee Shop Leicesters, you can't get any fresher than that! The veg plot will also be used to show our customers how and what to grow, it will be there to visit just outside Chives.

Over the past 10 years we have raised more than £15,000 for local charities and this is ongoing.

In this world of big seems wonderful, we pride ourselves in being small and independent offering all our customers in a friendly atmosphere great service and value - Long may this continue.

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Glebe Garden Centre Leicester were very helpful with all my queries and made helpful suggestions that suited my garden. An extensive range of products on display too and Chives restaurant was a great place to rest our feet and replenish our energy.

J McCarthy, Mar 2011