Garden centre finally back in Tokoroa
Green fingered folk in Tok’ finally have their own garden centre after years of having to travel out of town.
Avid gardener Francie Theunissen has opened The Tokoroa Garden Centre in Chambers St much to the relief of fellow gardens who for around five years have been without a proper garden centre.
Theunissen, who formerly worked as a financial services manager, said on finishing up with her former employer she considered semi retiring to spend her time travelling.
But her love of gardening - she has two acres of her own in Old Taupo Rd - wouldn’t have a bar of it.
‘‘In the back of my mind I remembered the community wanted a garden centre so I didn’t just suddenly think I’d open a garden centre, it was something I knew i’d like to do,’’ she said.
‘‘I drove past the site where the centre now is and saw a [for lease] sign on the fence. It was a sign but it was literally a sign because I could just visualise what a centre would look like in here’’. She said things moved quickly. ‘‘I went back home and told my husband I had seen it and the next day it was all on and I got handed the keys straight away,’’ she said.
‘‘The person who owns the lot felt it was a really good idea too and he’s been very supportive. It took two weeks from deciding to opening the doors and having it up and running.’’
Theunissen said the centre offers a wide range.
‘‘We have natives which are incredibly hardy for our colder climate, ornamental mulches, potting mix and compost, a gift range, and we have also got supplies for those who like to have a go growing their own seeds,’’ she said.
Theunissen, who was also the former manager of the Tokoroa Mitre 10 garden centre before it closed down, said her knowledge has helped immensely.
‘‘Other people have talked about it but I guess the barrier has been they haven’t known where to start,’’ she said.
‘‘Although I’m not an expert in gardening I have definitely got the experience and knowledge to be able to pull this off and I’ve also got a financial background and history with suppliers so we just ran with the idea.’’
‘‘People are loving the beautiful sunny site and are really pleased to see a garden centre back in town,’’ she said.
The centre’s open seven days.