Doing a job you love makes working so much easier. It means when Monday morning rolls around and everyone around you is grumbling and impatient for Friday to arrive, you’re raring to go. It also makes life more enjoyable and the working environment a much more pleasurable place to be in, not only for your co-workers, but also for the customers.
But, when you have created the business yourself, built it up from scratch and made it into one of the most successful businesses in town, it also brings an overwhelming feeling of pride. Our owner and creator John Houghton did exactly that. He proved that you need nothing more than an idea, a good work ethic and some imagination to build up something totally incredible.
Our roots start from when John inherited some land on Asfordby Hill from his father. This land has been in the Houghton family for years and was originally used for farming and because of the nature of the area, a bunch of asparagus plants were then grown in a nursery by John himself at the age of just 20. With many locals taking a fancy to these growing veggies, an idea arose and the Garden Centre began to form. Soon there was more than just asparagus and little by little the business started to grow with more plants, more customers and more ideas! Over time it has now become a huge attraction to the Leicestershire area and has a significant amount of products to take home including garden care, a great range of plants, trees and hanging baskets as well as pots, ornaments and of course the seeds to be able to grow your own at home just like us.
After the achievement of starting up a trusted and admired business, it began to grow further after a drawing was created on a piece of paper outlining the idea of bringing something additional to the land that would attract an even wider audience. This is when the restaurant was formed. To put a different spin on things and build up something totally unique, John based the restaurant on his love for the French Alps where he took skiing trips often with the family. When you walk in you get a warm and cosy greeting from the heat of the log fire while being surrounded by hanging skis, family photos and of course the wooden cabin decor. With a menu offering a variety of light bites, lunches and of course indulgent traditional French dishes, it gives the feeling of being in The Alps which is exactly what the Houghtons love.
As the business is still in the family, it is now including John’s daughter Holly who is currently running the restaurant and helping to keep the garden centre updated. This includes transforming the previously well loved gift shop into a refreshing, modern Lifestyle Store making our little empire unique as well as constantly offering delicious new and seasonal dishes to the menu.
It’s safe to say, that asparagus was a seed worth planting! Come and give us a visit and help us to grow our story further!