Schoolchildren from Dersingham will cut the ribbon to officially open a new garden centre store in Lynn this week, kicking off a weekend of celebrations and events for the whole family.
The Lynn News was given an exclusive tour around the new Dobbies garden centre store, on the Hardwick Industrial Estate, ahead of this Thursday’s official opening.
Regional manager, Nick Anderson, said: “There is a real excitement in the area and we’ve taken on around 130 staff, from 3,000 applicants, who are all equally excited to see a Dobbies, some for the first time, and to share it with their friends and family.
“Around 90 of our staff will be working in the restaurant which will seat 500, with space for an additional 100 on the patio and a further 70 seats in the cafe. This is the first joint store and we are expecting a lot of Tesco customers to also be using the restaurant.”
Mr Anderson is particularly excited to be opening a brand-new store just 17 miles from his home in Outwell, with two of his children starting work on the shop floor.
He said: “I’ve been in retail a long time, but this is the first time I’ve been given a building of this significance that has been built from new. It’s amazing to be able to show my friends and family.
Mr Anderson said: “We will be holding lots of family activities, we have a Little Seedlings club for children, face painting and Grow How talks and demonstrations.
“Our staff are trained to be experts and to give good advice. We’re using local suppliers as well. Our milk comes from the local dairy and we’ll be selling local pies and beer. Being next to Tesco, we try to offer an alternative.”
Meanwhile, the store’s community champion is looking at ways of working with local groups.
Mr Anderson added: “We want to work with the community and that is why we have Dersingham Primary School coming to the launch, and we will be supporting them after that.”
The Tesco store is also donating £1,000 to West Norfolk cancer charity, Reach For A Star, and founder Jim Lewis, with trustees Simon Wade and Shareen Hannan, will also be attending the joint opening.
The £8 million garden centre will offer more than 10,000 plants, shrubs and trees, an indoor Food Market, toys and books, home furnishings and plenty of festive cheer.
Both Dobbies and Tesco will officially open on Thursday.