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Me & My Job - Matt Graham, director, Garden Centre Fresh

Grow, 22 January 2014

Matt Graham, director, Garden Centre Fresh
Matt Graham, director, Garden Centre Fresh

- How did you get started in the industry?

I joined horticulture as a buyer at Homebase from a retail background.

- What advice would you give to others starting out?

Surround yourself with quality people and quality plants

- What does your typical day involve?

Lots of meeting and greeting Garden Centre Fresh customers. It's all about service for us so it's important to keep that contact. I do travel a lot, usually to Holland and Belgium and a lot around this country because we have customers all over the UK who I like to try and see as often as possible. We've just held a spring three-day event day in Honselersdijk, Holland, attended by 75 customers that gave us the chance to put 150 trolleys of plants in front of an invited audience of garden centre customers.

- What is the best aspect of your job?

To be in full season and be selling lots, and seeing our customers selling lots too.

- And the worst?

When things don't go according to plan weather-wise.

- What has been your greatest achievement at work?

Great levels of customer service as well as watching customers grow in confidence and sales year on year with Garden Centre Fresh.

- How do you wind down after a hard day at work?

I like to keep fit and to keep my mind active.

- What does the future hold?

We want to achieve a level where we have the right number of customers for us at around 250 garden centres and service each one to build levels of business with them. Then we want to increase levels of business with our customers we have rather than necessarily chasing new customers all the time.

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