Cookshop opens in Dorset garden centre

A long-established west Dorset cookshop has opened a branch inside its local garden centre.

Cookshop opens in Dorset garden centre

Specialist retailer Owen & Simpson, which is celebrating 20 years of trading in Dorchester town centre, launched a sister cookshop inside Garden Group garden centre Poundbury Gardens in Poundbury Village, on the edge of Dorchester, six weeks ago.

Poundbury Gardens manager James Foster-Pegg said: “We were looking to enhance our appeal and offering here at Poundbury and the new cookshop has done just that. We’re thrilled and delighted that the Owen & Simpson team has come on board.”

Owen & Simpson manager David Taylor told that when Poundbury Gardens’ concession director approached them with the opportunity, “we jumped in. We took a room and kitted it out like the shop in town”.

Although half the size of the town centre store, the new outlet stocks a mix of pick-up lines and high-ticket items (“from wooden spoons to KitchenAid mixers”).

While it’s early says, David notes that so far trading has been “brilliant. We’ve been very we received by the residents of Poundbury. They’ve been fully supportive. Basically, it’s winning its way. But the most glorious thing of all is that it’s free parking at Poundbury Gardens.”

He concluded: “The key thing is that Poundbury wanted a local independent to come in, so they approached us. We’re a specialist, they’re a specialist; and together we harmonise each other.

“In fact, we think Owen & Simpson is probably one of the first independent cook shops in the country to be invited into a garden centre.

The Gardens Group also operates two other garden centres in the south-west: Castle Gardens at Sherborne in Dorset and Brimsmore Gardens at Yeovil in Somerset.

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