TWENTY jobs have been created by the man behind one of the district’s most thriving garden centres.
Nigel Wait, of Newbridge Nurseries in Broadbridge Heath, has recently opened the doors of his new cafe - Stooks.
The carefully designed masterpiece - built around the core ethos of local produce, environment, fairtrade and quality customer experience - has taken more then three years to evolve. But now the finishing touches are being sculpted onto this mammoth project.
Nigel told the County Times: “My wife Jane and my son Joshua have had a huge role to play in the design and recruitment for Stooks which has the capacity of 150 covers plus another 50 outside once the patio has been constructed.
“We have initially recruited 20 fantastic new staff all from our local area including the best chefs we could find, to prepare a range of innovative, tasty and healthy meals using local Sussex produce.
“Our pastry chef is responsible for the baking at Stooks - some wonderful bread, cakes and fruit tarts to name just a few. You will see that our menu during the week contains a range of beautiful healthy salads whereas on Sundays we have a more traditional fare on offer.”
The cafe supports local farmers and businesses in a bid to aid Horsham economy, reduce food miles and supply ingredients of the highest quality.
But Stooks is not just about the food. Huge investment has secured state-of-the-art equipment aimed at making the cafe as environmentally friendly as possible.
“The attention to detail was paramount,” continued Nigel, “and it was not until construction was underway that we decided to install a ground source heat pump, voltaic and solar panels to provide some of the electricity and hot water we would require. Using the very latest in renewable energy technology, Stooks will be able to keep its carbon footprint rock bottom.
“It’s about showing other local businesses that there’s another, greener way. Like our commitment to only using biodegradable take-away cutlery, recyclable take-away coffee cups, and 100 per cent recycled paper.”
Stooks offers an apprenticeship programme, working with Central Sussex College to give young people the chance to develop their skills in the kitchen.
The owner added: “It is 17 years since we bought Newbridge Nurseries and in that time we have turned it into a thriving garden centre that our customers love to visit.
“In Stooks we believe we have a business that will encourage new customers from outside our area to visit our wonderful garden centre.”
For more information visit the website at www.stooksatnewbridge.co.uk