Growing success for former builders

WITH the construction trade struggling amid economic gloom, two mid-Suffolk builders have taken the bold step of starting their own business.

WITH the construction trade struggling amid economic gloom, two mid-Suffolk builders have taken the bold step of starting their own business.

Rodney Debenham and Simon Gale are tradesmen who have decided to open up a shop selling growing equipment in Stowmarket.

The shop will sell all sorts of hydroponics equipment - used to grow plants in water - and other horticultural paraphernalia.

The builders are currently dividing their time between picking up work on building sites to meet the �20,000 start up cost of the shop and preparing the premises for opening later this month.

The idea for the shop came from a spell Mr Gale spent working in greenhouses in Holland several years ago and came to fruition after he suggested it to his now business partner.

He said: “I believe there is quite a market for it out there. We're in the building trade but the trade being as it is now, it's very difficult to get enough work so we decided to do something about it.

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“The commercial side of things is already taken so the shop is more for the home side, really. Any plant that can be awkward to grow has a big advantage with hydroponics - chillies and orchids are great examples.

“What we plan to do is set systems up in the shop to show off the possibilities.”

Mr Gale said they had looked over the local competition and the focus was on making a more “user-friendly” business.

The shop will be fitted out with all the latest horticultural equipment and decorated with the help of a local artist.

Mr Debenham said: “The Japanese have developed this quite well now and we're doing a similar thing, but on a smaller scale. We'll be selling anything to do with growing, basically.”

The shop will be opening soon at Unit Nine on the Charles Industrial Estate in Stowmarket.

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