Bunches is a family business, originally founded by my Dad Erik and Mum Sandra in 1989. Back then, Bunches was a small flower stall which my Mum and Dad had set up under a 3 metre by 4 metre umbrella in the Four Seasons shopping centre in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. My Dad used to get up at 4am to go and buy the flowers from the local flower market and in the holidays me and my brother would go with him; we thought that getting up so early and indulging on an early morning 'bacon butty' was the most exciting thing... how things have changed! My Mum would then make the flowers into bouquets in our garage, again I'd often help her out, wrapping the flowers in sleeves or tying ribbons... I say I helped, I was probably more of a hindrance looking back! From the little flower stall my Mum and Dad sold great quality bouquets, offering a service with a smile and the stall was a great success. In fact, it was so successful, that within just 16 weeks of trading my Dad had been made an offer to sell the business, which he decided to do.
Bunches... Flowers By Post
During the time in the shopping centre my Dad discovered that you could put flowers into boxes and despatch them nationwide to customers, using Royal Mail as the transport link. He proposed this idea to the Post Office, who enthusiastically agreed to the idea and consequently Bunches began as a flowers by post company in January 1990, operating out of a factory in Kirkby-in-Ashfield (quite different to the flower stall in the shopping centre). Orders were taken over the Post Office counter and then telephoned through to the Bunches office, which at the time was staffed by my Mum, Dad and one other, with me and my brother helping out at weekends and holidays! As a little girl you'd imagine that I'd have loved the pretty colours and fragrances of all the flowers, but being a bit of a tom boy, the reality was that I thought the best thing about Bunches was the flower trolley that doubled up as an effective skate board!
To begin with, my Mum and Dad did everything, taking the orders, making up the bouquets and then handing them to the postman to be delivered. In the first week of trading as a flower delivery business Bunches received just 5 orders. However, my Dad could see the potential of the business from the beginning and never doubted that the factory that they'd just moved into wouldn't one day be brimming with flowers and staff!
Bunches in bloom!
In 1992 Bunches expanded to all Post Offices nationwide and the direct mail side of the business began, which was such a success, my Dad decided to take on more local staff to cope with the demand. During this time, Bunches also began offering chocolates with the flowers, a first in the UK flower trade!
In 2001, after out-growing the original factory, Bunches moved into a purpose built premises with state of the art Sales Office, Production and Despatch facilities, based in Newstead Village, Nottinghamshire. We are still here today and have just completed a £1 million extension, doubling the size of our production floor space and adding new offices. To celebrate we had a huge party in the new facility with over 200 guests including staff, suppliers and family and friends.
Creating smiles across the UK
I joined Bunches in 2003 as part of the Marketing Team and am now very privileged to be the Managing Director of such a fantastic company, which creates many smiles across the UK. I have grown up surrounded by flowers, and now love them more than skate boarding! I'm absolutely passionate about the products we offer, and want to make sure that the very basic principles of offering great value, long-lasting flowers, with excellent service, always underpin our business. Our flowers are purchased from suppliers with whom we have a long standing relationship because of their commitment to quality and longevity of their flowers. We import our flowers from across the globe, wherever they are fresh and grown in perfect conditions.
The size of the business over the years has changed considerably, the 5 orders a week that we did at the start is now several thousand orders a week, but the heart of the business is exactly the same. We are all about delivering great quality flowers that make our customers all over the UK happy, and offering a fantastic friendly service that means our customers love to deal with us again and again... it's just like the flower stall... just a bit bigger!
Many of our employees have been with Bunches for several years and are key to giving you commitment to service and quality and we value their input and hard work in the growth of the company.
Since Bunches was founded we've now delivered over 2.5 million bouquets throughout the UK and for every bouquet that is received a smile is created, so over the years that's a lot of happiness... and that's what I love about Bunches, we are in the business of generating smiles.
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