Garden firm grows

(Front row, left to right) STIHL GB's Robin Lennie, Lord Ridley and Rob Gusthart, with Phillip Mitchell and Michael Mitchell.
(Front row, left to right) STIHL GB's Robin Lennie, Lord Ridley and Rob Gusthart, with Phillip Mitchell and Michael Mitchell.

BUSINESS is blooming for a Northumberland garden tools supplier as it moves into a new showroom.

Family firm Gustharts, which supplies equipment to gardeners and trades, has invested in a 3,500 sq ft showroom on the Blagdon Estate, next door to its former premises.

The new facility, which also offers an additional 3,000 sq ft of storage room, has almost doubled the business’s space and even includes a 20ft tree to enable customers to test out some of the kit on sale.

The investment comes as the business bucks the economic downturn to record its best results to date.

The company, which was established in 1985, grew turn-over by 15 per cent last year to pass the £1million mark, and despite poor weather, April this year was the best month in the history of the business.

It is a major dealer in the Stihl and Viking ranges and sells everything from chainsaws to hedge-trimmers and protective clothing.

In 2001 it introduced climbing kit for arborists when one customer asked for a single harness and now Gustharts is the biggest specialist in tree-climbing equipment in the North, also supplying colleges across the UK and exporting to Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The need for more display and demonstration space led to the new premises, which were built by estate owner Lord Ridley.

Gustharts invested £120,000 in a state-of-the-art shop fit and green IT equipment, which consumes about 80 per cent less power than typical PCs.

Rob Gusthart, who runs the business with his brother-in-law Michael and nephew Phillip Mitchell, said: “Now we have the bigger showroom customer equipment demos are much easier and people are browsing or just popping in to look around, as opposed to before in our smaller workshop when we didn’t have much passing trade.

“We have even got a 20ft tree in the centre of the showroom to try out harnesses and in the summer we’re hoping to take customers outside onto the Blagdon Estate to test equipment too.”

The official launch of the new premises was attended by Lord Ridley and Stihl GB Managing Director Robin Lennie.

Gustharts currently has nine staff and hopes to expand in the next few years.