The owners of JM Garden Concepts in Lotopa have marked the second birthday of their business, by expanding with the opening of a cafe.
The business officially turned two years old on 12 December, and the opening of Cafe 10 celebrated that milestone.
“I wanted a happy spot where anyone can come in and enjoy the moment,” said business owner, Visceta Meredith.
“There are quite a lot of keen gardeners that come in and we would share gardening stories. I always wanted to offer a cuppa or coffee over these conversations,” she said.
The idea to open a cafe had been floating around for a while, she said.
“It was there from the start when we first opened the garden centre. It’s something we knew we wanted in the garden center but we weren't financially ready two years ago.”
The past two years of running the business were challenging for Mrs. Meredith and her husband, Jonathan.
“We [had] been away from Samoa for some time. Having moved to NZ for Jonathan’s rugby career, when we decided to come back for good we had to work harder in finding our way around things here in Samoa."
“We started the business with just landscaping services, which include landscape design, ground maintenance and plant care. Jonathan studied landscaping in NZ and worked in the industry for over 3 years."
“The challenge is Samoa has already...established landscapers with also years of experience, plus some are naturally gifted with landscaping skills.”
The couple had parenting and volunteering responsibilities heaped on top of their hectic schedule as well.
“Although challenging, we were still able to stay afloat. We managed to expand with opening a garden centre to go hand in hand with our services...it’s been a challenging and rewarding two years.”
There is one last birthday celebration planned for the business.
“We marked the first birthday with a planting tree event. We planted 100 trees at the Mt. Vaea Reserve."
“[The] second birthday planting tree activity has been postponed. An area has yet to be confirmed by M.N.R.E. We are still going to do that early next year.”