Former Newcastle chief’s landscaping company plants seeds of growth after successful foreclosure
The gardening business of a husband-and-wife team in Newcastle is poised to expand and create jobs after thriving during the lockdown.
Michael Bell-Saunders’ MBS Gardens company is now fully booked for the remainder of 2021, thanks to growing demand for garden transformations during the pandemic and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Mr Bell-Saunders has announced his intention to develop MBS Gardens and recruit new staff so that he can embark on larger commercial projects in 2022, with support from the North Tyneside Business Factory.
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The former chef launched MBS Gardens in 2018 to provide landscaping and design services to residential clients in and around the North East.
Initially working on small garden maintenance projects, the company has grown to offer complex garden design and landscaping services to residential and commercial clients throughout the region.
He said: “The business really started out as a personal challenge to see if I could make freelance work work for me and my family. Having a full order book until next year gives me a feeling of satisfaction that I made the right decision to go through a difficult time on my own.
“I was actually a chef before, but the antisocial hours didn’t fit in with a young family.
“I really got down to work and thought maybe this would be something I could try in terms of running my own business. I took up the challenge and within a week, MBS Gardens was trading.
With two children and a three-month-old baby at home at the time, Mr. Bell-Saunders started the business with the support of his wife, who had just been fired from her job as a university professor.
They established the base of MBS Gardens with Ms Bell-Saunders taking care of the back office business operations while her husband handled all of the garden design, quotes and labor.
He said: “We have been fortunate to build a great reputation and have gone from residential programs to commercial works for schools and local authorities. We have also expanded the garden design side of the business to offer a computerized 3D design service to transform outdoor spaces from concept to completion.
“The design side of the business has proven to be incredibly popular given the demand from people looking to really transform their outdoor space after lockdown. “
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The company is now working with the North Tyneside Business Factory to help them manage the upscaling of their business as it enters a new phase of growth.
He added, “Our Sales Advisor at The Business Factory, Janice Ross, has been an invaluable source of advice and guidance as we begin to look at how we can grow the business in a sustainable manner. We want to increase our team, but also develop our current customer base to allow more opportunities for tenders for longer term commercial landscaping design and maintenance contracts.
North Tyneside Business Factory is the North Tyneside Council’s business support program which is supported by ERDF and provided by TEDCO Business Support.
Janice Ross, Business Advisor at North Tyneside Business Factory, added: “Not only has the hard work and dedication of Michael and Gemma resulted in a strong new business pipeline, they are also taking action to secure the future of their business. with new growth. strategy to create jobs and opportunities.