2017 will be a year of celebration at Glazebury-based Bents Garden & Home as the family owned and run business marks its 80th anniversary; 80 years since Alfred and Margaret Bent started to sell roses from the front garden of their small terrace house, marking the start of a special journey.
Since 1937, Bents has evolved from a small specialised plant based business to one of the country’s largest garden, home and leisure destinations all of which is celebrated in a short film, highlighting its journey and thanking customers for being part of it: Thank You 80th Anniversary at Bents.
2017 promises to be a year of celebrations with an extensive calendar of events, seasonal surprises and random acts of kindness planned to commemorate its impressive milestone, all anchored by a spectacular summer garden party planned for the weekend of July 7-10.
While never forgetting its gardening heritage, Bents has worked hard to create a destination that is no longer just focused on the garden but also encompasses home, lifestyle, leisure and a day out. Under the guidance of three generations of the Bent family it is now a £20m turnover operation, employing over 430 colleagues.
Managing director Matthew Bent commented: “As a family business we’ve never been ones to rest on our laurels. We’ve always followed our passions, taken chances and strived to innovate. And that is exactly how it all started in 1937 when my grandparents started to cultivate roses as a hobby in the front garden of their terraced house at 404 Warrington Road, just metres away from our current location. Little did they know that it would be the start of something so unique and special.”
Over the past 80 years Bents has undergone a number of key milestones including the introduction of Christmas and catering to the business, helping to make it an all-year attraction and establish a number of key trends within the garden centre industry.
2017 saw the launch of the UK’s first Open Skies Glass House, an all-weather destination where customers can shop for plants come rain or shine and more recent years have seen the opening of a £10m extension, housing a number of new home and leisure departments, including an extensive Food Hall.
Now, with its six dining destinations, adventure play area, landscaped lake and on site nursery, where it grows and nurtures over 60% of its plants, Bents is a very different entity to when it began life 80 years ago. However, Matthew added: “Despite growing in size we’ve worked hard to keep the great family feeling and ambiance we have established a reputation for; something I think my grandparents would be very proud of if they could see us now.”