Joan joined Highfield in 1975 to help in the mail order office. She quickly became office manager and then a director before she and Trevor Wellington, the nursery manager, bought out the company from Bonham Bazeley in 1987 and she became Managing Director. The driving force ever since, inspiring the continuing growth of a small mail order business right through to the present day multi-million-pound-turnover, state-of-the-art Garden Centre you now see, Joan (now 83) still comes to work 4 days a week and has clocked up 43 years’ service with the company.
Tim first came to Highfield in 1976 as a young lad weeding pots on the nursery during his school holidays and at weekends. After finishing school he attended Pershore Horticultural College and then spent a couple of years working on various wholesale nurseries both in the UK and in Holland to learn all aspects of the horticultural industry. Tim works alongside Joan and keeps the company moving forward. Despite being office-based for the majority of his time, Tim loves to be outside and can often be seen mowing the verges around the Garden Centre on his ride-on mower or down on the nursery keeping an eye on things. Tim has worked for Highfield full time for 36 years.
Jon came to Highfield as Planteria Manager in 1996 and vastly improved the layout and variety of plants sold. He was soon appointed as a Director and can still be found most days in his ‘shed’ answering customer queries. Jon is also a wonderful speaker and is often called upon to demonstrate all aspects of gardening both for our own evening talks and at various gardening clubs and WI’s around the county. Jon has been with Highfield for 23 years this January.
Stella came to Highfield in 1980 straight from Pershore Horticultural College. Originally employed as stock controller dividing time between the office, the small garden shop and the mail order nursery, her role gradually evolved to become more office based. With the advent of computers in the company she found her passion and now handles the day to day running of the accounts for the company. Stella now has 38 years’ service with Highfield.
Sarah was taken on at Highfield to input customer details onto our first computer back in 1987 and she has been here ever since, currently working two days a week in our cash office. Sarah will turn her hand to anything and is often the face you see, meeting and greeting, at late night events where she will run the raffle, often in fancy dress! She has just completed 31 years at Highfield.
Julie has seen the Restaurant flourish and has been a mainstay and loyal member of staff during her 25 years with Highfield, often stepping in at very short notice when cover was needed. With each expansion of our Restaurant, the number of customers increased and Julie has been a major contributing factor to the success, her home cooked food and caring nature towards both customers and staff have made her very popular – her tuna pasta bake is to die for!
Elaine began her Highfield career in 2000 working in the Sundries department. Up until very recently she was Manager of that team ensuring the shelves were well stocked and she could advise customers on any of the products on them. Elaine’s is now the first face you will see as she has taken up residence on the Information Desk and will usually answer any question thrown at her. Elaine has now worked at Highfield for 18 years.
Janice came to Highfield in 2002 to help out in our clothing department. She was Manager of that department for many years but is now in charge of the Giftware and Christmas departments putting on fantastic displays with each passing season. Janice has been at Highfield for 16 years.
Emma is Joan’s Granddaughter, and Tim’s Daughter. Her first taster of working for Highfield was in the Summer of 2008, when she worked over the school summer holiday for six weeks at our plant Nursery on Whitminster Lane. She then joined the Garden Centre team in 2009, aged 16. She served customers on the tills, and worked in the clothing department – taking part in our ‘fashion shows’, and visiting the NEC to source new clothing. She left us for four years to work in estate agency, but is now back for good – returning in January 2018 as a full time member of staff. Emma currently works in our cash office, preparing figures for analysis, and organising our popular coach trips.