Inverness based Simpsons Garden Centre was awarded the coveted ‘Garden Centre of Excellence’ status by the industry body, an award only given to the top 10 garden centres in the UK. It’s the icing on the cake for the local business, which also picked up Best Destination Garden Centre in Scotland for 2019/20.
To celebrate the achievement, Simpson’s 100+ employees will all receive an extra day’s annual leave this year.
Overall results from the annual GCA audit saw Simpsons place 5th overall out of over 200 garden centres across the UK.
The Inverness independent, which marks its 20th anniversary next year, has also picked up the award for Best Plant Area and Best Restaurant, accolades which reflect the hard work, creativity and enthusiasm of the Simpsons team, according to managing director Andrew Simpson.
He said: “These awards are a fitting reward for all the hard work our team puts in on a daily basis. We take great pride in having the right people with a keen eye for the right product, specialist knowledge across all areas, expertise in the kitchen, the determination not to compromise on standards, and a team that constantly strives to be the best.
“We are also very lucky that we have such a strong and loyal customer base. We listen to our customers so that we continue to deliver the best retail experience we can.
“As a local business, we are also acutely aware of our environmental responsibilities and are always looking at new ways to promote sustainability across the business.”
Simpsons has taken a number of steps to reduce its carbon footprint including; introducing recyclable containers for plants in the outdoor area, sourcing 95% of its plant stock from UK growers and using compostable packaging, cups and straws in the award-winning restaurant.
The business is also active in the community, raising funds for local charities and good causes with over £20,000 donated or raised by the Simpsons team in 2019.
Andrew Simpson added: “We have some exciting plans for Simpsons Garden Centre as we gear up for our 20th anniversary. We really have come a long way since 2001 with a thriving Highland business that is setting the standard for garden centres in Scotland and across the UK. I am really proud of our team.”
Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce commented, ‘I’m delighted to congratulate Andrew and his team at Simpsons Garden Centre on this remarkable achievement. It’s great to see their outstanding performance recognised on a UK-wide basis and to have an Inverness-based business leading the way nationally. “All of us who regularly visit their garden centre know precisely why Andrew and his team are award winners. It’s no surprise that they are focused on their environmental credentials and are promoting sustainability across every area of business. I congratulate them on all that they have achieved in this first 20 years and wish them all the very best for the next 20!”