Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands marks 70th anniversary

Frosts started as a nursery in 1946 and has flourished into a multi-award-winning business.

Harvey Frost – grandfather of the current managing director, James Frost – started a wholesale nursery business with just a handful of staff, concentrating on tomatoes and chrysanthemums. The business grew along with demand. In 1962, with the help of his sons Adrian and Brian, Harvey Frost opened Frosts at Woburn Sands, which was one of the first garden centres in the UK ? and soon became a leader in its field.

Brian Frost, driven by his passion for plant-growing and as a personal keen gardener, inherited his father’s entrepreneurial mind and developed the garden centre in a more sustainable and evolved business, while Adrian developed the landscape side of the business. Frosts Landscape Construction soon gained a reputation for excellence across its five divisions: Interior Landscaping, Commercial Landscaping, Garden Design & Construction, Estate and Grounds Maintenance and Tree Surgery.

Frosts has three further sites in the UK: Willington in Bedfordshire, Brampton in Cambridgeshire and Millets Farms in Oxfordshire. Willington opened in 1972 in partnership with Richard and Candida Godber, whose family has owned the site since the 1890s. In 1986, Frosts opened up the garden centre at Millets Farm which also homes a Pick Your Own business, a giant maze, a craft shop on the edge of the Cotswolds and 15 years ago, in 2001, Frosts opened the Brampton garden centre on the edge of Huntingdon.

Today, Frosts is led by Brian’s son, James, who is managing director of the company. James’ brother, Jeremy, and Adrian’s son, Rupert, are also involved in the business.

Under James’ directorship, Frosts has recently invested ?1.5m in making significant improvements to the garden centre’s original building, including replacing the roof. The interior has been modernised and the layout improved to give a better overall customer experience.

The first completed phase saw the creation of the region’s largest outdoor furniture space, which is currently transformed for Christmas displays and products, and the introduction of a new coffee shop, separate from the Garden Room restaurant.

James continues to oversee the progress of the landscape business, which is headed up by managing director, Ken White. Frosts Landscape Construction has been responsible for the creation of Hampton Court’s Magical Garden this year, the London 2012 Olympic Park and the Queen’s Jubilee Garden on London’s South Bank. People will also spot the Frosts logo on the jumpers of the workforce in ITV’s Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh.

“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved by the family. Despite growing to the size we are today, we have always maintained our strong family values, remembered our roots and continue to work with local people for local people,” said James.

He added: “Our 70th anniversary is a wonderful milestone and we are committed to many more years ahead us. I would personally like to thank my family for their support, the staff for their hard work and for our customers for continuing to support a local business.”

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