‘Bloomin fantastic’ - new Hartlepool garden centre thanks customers for support after business expands into town

Owners of a new Hartlepool garden centre say they have been overwhelmed by the support from the town since opening their doors.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 7:34 am
Owners Monique Nijboer and Clair Fiddler.

Clair Fiddler and Monique Nijboer have opened Bloomin Al’s, which is located at the former Sweet P’s garden centre.

The green-fingered business duo, who also own a garden centre in Birtley, met four years ago at the Christmas Markets in Newcastle.

Bloomin' Al's has opened up in the old Sweet P's garden centre in Hartlepool. Picture by Tom Banks

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Having decided to expand to Hartlepool, they redecorated and created a quirky garden centre which sells a range of handmade tubs.

Clair, 47, says the most popular plants include herbs, aloe vera and cactus.

Clair said: “The response has been really good.

“Everyone has liked what we’ve done with the place and they’re really excited about the cafe we have here.

“The cafe has already proved popular and everything is home made.

“Lots of people have said they think this is just what Hartlepool needs.”

The pair met four years ago at the stall Monique runs with her husband Richard - Dutch Flowers on Tour.

Clair added: “I met Monique and her husband Richard at the Christmas Markets at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.

“They have their own continental market and it all started from there around four years ago.

“We first thought about opening the centre in last October.

“Obviously at this site it was already a garden centre.

“We wanted to do it out and try and get it open again.

“It had been closed for a while and everyone that has been coming in say they’re glad to have a garden centre again.”

The new garden centre and cafe have already proved popular in the town and the owners say they’re excited to join the community and host various events - including an upcoming Easter egg competition.

Clair says her and Monique, 55, take inspiration from their own preferences and their unique style has been catching the eye of customers.

“People who don’t know the first thing about gardening come in and we’re always happy to help people wanting to get started,” said Clair.

“We’re really excited to be opening this new venture here and the response has been absolutely fantastic.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to seems really pleased that we’re here and we hope we can bring something a little bit different to Hartlepool.”