Gloucestershire?s leading independent garden centre has completed a ?2.5m restaurant and retail development in time for Spring. ?The work has increased the family-run Highfield Garden World footprint by around 1,500m?, bringing the total to 5,300m?.

Pivotal to the year-long project has been the creation of a landmark restaurant.? Seating 300 inside and 150 outside, the restaurant was relocated and redesigned to maximise the site?s enviable waterside, hilltop position.? ?Also important to the overall plans was the introduction of more national brands to the site?s existing stable of concessions.? Ponden Mill and Peacocks have joined existing World of Water and Edinburgh Woollen Mill concessions, in a move which sees Highfield significantly expanding its fashion and homeware offering.? The business is also in discussions with Pavers Shoes.

Speaking about the completion of the development, Director Tim Greenway, commented:? ?With 27 years of steady growth behind us, we saw an opportunity to invest in making the customer experience here even more enjoyable – consolidating our appeal to our existing customer base, while attracting new customers as well.? We are delighted with how the development has turned out and, more importantly, our customers tell us they feel the same way.?

Speaking about the new restaurant, Tim commented;? ?Our food offering accounts for 20-25% of turnover and is of course crucial to the success of this business.? We have worked hard to make our new restaurant experience a really positive, enjoyable one ? both for our legions of loyal repeat visitors, and for the new, slightly younger market we are increasingly attracting.? The building and fit-out is light, bright and welcoming, with far-reaching views, whilst the food is a solid, tasty mix of old favourites and new flavours.? Our home-baked products such as biscuits and cakes are especially popular.? We sold over 5,500 scones in the first three months of opening alone!? Particularly with the younger market in mind, we have also totally overhauled our salad offering as well as putting proper, barista-prepared coffee on the menu.? And it?s working!? We are super busy and expect to get even busier ? to the point where we?re considering taking on yet more staff including a third full-time baker to help the other two cope with demand.?

Highfield is owned and run by three generations of the Greenway family, who took over the business in 1987.?? In a boost to the local economy, fifteen jobs have been created as a result of the development, and the Greenways worked with local suppliers wherever possible throughout the project.

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