John and his wife Dorothy bought the original business in 1964, and had 11 full time employees and an annual turnover of £39,000 in their first year. The current business now has 110 full time employees and the turnover has risen to in excess of £10million. All three of John and Dorothy’s sons work for the business, making it a truly family run affair.
In 2005 John was honoured with an Individual Excellence Award, for Lifetime Achievement by the HTA and Horticulture Week, and In 2007 Johns son Andrew, was elected as president of the Horticultural Trades Association and awarded the prestigious Pearson Memorial by the HTA, an honour he also shares with his father.
“The principles of our business have never changed, and high quality plant production has continued to be a motivating factor in the development of the Company” John Richardson.
The Company is one of the longest established (93 years) and largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe and the largest supplier to the amenity sector in the UK. Over the years the Company has supplied its plants to countless prestigious schemes and customers. These include:-
- The Scottish Office – Forth Road Bridge
- Microsoft Headquarters
- Media City, Manchester
- Sun Alliance Headquarters
- Arlington Business Parks
- Channel Tunnel Rail Link
- White Rose Shopping Centre
- Metro Centre
“I have the greatest of respect for John and have had the pleasure of knowing him for a number of years, quite unusually as both part of his senior management team and latterly as a customer. John has always regarded its people as the true business and takes his responsibility as an employer incredibly seriously. John’s standing and recognition within the wider horticultural community is almost legendary and you will not hear of anyone held in higher regard for their achievements, knowledge and all round business ethics. Above all, John is just a damned nice guy and my time working alongside side him were the most enjoyable of my working career. John won’t retire and why would he? Johnsons of Whixley IS John Richardson!” Nigel Coultas, Director, Hedges Direct Ltd.
Congratulations on 50 years of Business.
My first recollection of trading with ‘Johnsons of Whixley’ was back in 1974, as a young man in my first year of business taking delivery of a wagon load of container plants. No pallets in those days so no forklift trucks just manual handling. I had not appreciated the art of stacking 2 litre containers on a 7.5ton lorry, but John Richardson had. He must have been carrying 100,000 plants (seemed like that anyway). I got to know a little about John and his business during those 3 hours of toil, and ever since then I still look forward to our meetings, not only reflecting on the past but looking to the future and its opportunities. Thankfully these meetings are now held in an office.
I have watched the company develop over the years and their quality of service is still the driving force within the business, I have no doubt the new generation of managers will take the trading through many more successful years. Frank Curry. Managing Director, Brambledown Contracts Services Ltd.