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Breaking News: Roger Mclaughlan set to leave as Wyevale GC announces management changes
Noma celebrate 80 years in glitzy style
GTN Bestsellers reveal the Top 100 Christmas products for 2018
Eco friendly? TMD has it in the bag
CSY’s EPOS helps In-Excess migrate from Wyevale
Greenfingers plans for a Bumper 20th Anniversary Year
Johnsons Lawn Seed on BBC news
Charles Taylor launching new retail brochure at Glee at Spring Fair
Daffodil Day to kick off Taylors Bulbs centenary
Smart to unveil extended Christmas collection at Harrogate
High-quality stock from Johnsons spruces up award-winning developments
11 plants to vie for 'added value' crown at IPM Essen
Don't wait for spring to promote slug controls
Haskins issues advice on achieving year-round colour
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Jobs created by garden centre expansion
T&M adopts SmartPlant button for online purchases
Caulders choose ACR EPOS for tills upgrade
Decco appoints Andy Macmillan as Perth manager
Keep lawns fed for longer this Spring
Exclusively Shows return to London in June
Party for Perennial launches 180th anniversary celebrations
More nest boxes needed - National Nest Box Week 2019 is nearly here!
The best of last week's
Garden centre calls time on award-winning grotto
Records broken as garden centres report on Christmas trading
Dobbies records strong Christmas performance
Real reindeer success at Planters despite protests
Evergreen Garden Care strengthens commercial team
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All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Work begins on transformation of Notcutts Ditchling
Casual Dining unveils its biggest ever Keynote line-up
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Garden centre calls time on award-winning grotto


Brookside Garden Centre in Kent has decided not to produce its award-winning grotto in the foreseeable future because it has got ‘too big’ for the family business.


After celebrating its 10th anniversary this Christmas, the grotto has become the victim of its own success, having won multiple GTN Christmas Awards for its innovation and popularity.


“We have created something that has got too big for our little family business,” said Simon and Alison Shead, who produced the grotto with their son Matt. “We only have 3,000 tickets to sell but this year we had 16,000 customers on our website wanting tickets. That means over 13,000 unhappy customers.


“We have created such a good reputation that some customers have started to expect too much from us for the price we charge.”


The garden centre has actually received 'threats' on a weekly basis because the grotto had been sold out with some customers believing their family deserved tickets more than others.


“We've had comments like, 'you're punishing our children because we didn't get tickets',” added Simon and Alison.


“We've had countless people threaten to go to the media because they felt we weren't selling them tickets even though we had sold out.

“Over the past 10 years we have raised more than £60,000 for multiple charities such as Make-A-Wish, DEBRA and to the Miles Miller Trust, a local lad from our village.

“After putting tens of thousands of families before our very own we have decided we need time to enjoy Christmas with our own family who have been neglected this past decade.

“We aren't saying never again, but the grotto you know and love has gone, and we will need to come up with a new business model that suits us and the customer over the next couple of years.

“To all the customers, staff, friends and family that have supported us over the years we cannot express enough how much your support means to us.”

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