Friday, September 2, 2022

News: Launch of eco-friendly flower farm a blooming success for Rotherham entrepreneur


A Rotherham entrepreneur who faced months of financial uncertainty after she was furloughed during the pandemic has turned her gardening hobby into a blooming business with the launch of an eco-friendly flower farm.

Like many people, Liz Baxter was worried about what the future had in store when she was unable to carry out her usual work as an Executive Assistant due to the restrictions put in place during the Covid-19 crisis.

Instead of waiting to see what would happen, she was inspired to launch Side Farm Flowers which produces sustainable British flowers using environmentally friendly solutions including a cold greenhouse, and water sourced from a borehole.

The farm also houses some beehives nearby which pollinate the flowers and the honey is then also sold at the farm.

Based in Thurcroft, the business is already on track for expansion just four months after its launch, with Liz partnering with eco-florist, Hannah Jackson from The Garden of Evie, to accommodate more orders from event planners and venues that stage occasions such as weddings, baby showers and hen dos.

To meet with the growing demand Liz has now invested in further materials and equipment to allow her to increase production, having secured a Kickstart grant from UKSE - a local investment company that provides finance of up to £1.5m to growing companies, but which also provides support to start-ups.

Looking to the future, Liz has ambitions to run workshops on the farm, to open a ‘pick your own flowers’ field for customers, to open a farm shop, and to purchase a small tractor.

Speaking on the success of the business so far Liz said: “It has been a real dream come true to start up the flower farm.

“The support from the local community has been tremendous, and I have been overwhelmed by how popular the produce is proving to be with customers at markets, country shows and at the farm itself.

“Thanks to the UKSE Kickstart grant I have also now been able to invest in additional equipment and materials which will allow me to increase production, facilitating the farm’s further expansion in the coming months.”

Steve Lyon, Area Manager at UKSE, said: “We’re so glad to see Liz’s passion for sustainable flower farming shine through and become a successful business model.

“We wish her all the best for the future and can’t wait to see what direction she takes the business in.”

Side Farm Flowers Facebook page
UKSE website

Images: UKSE


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