Market trader looks to expand after selling 1,000 plants a week in 'amazing' first year
A former estate agent swapped selling homes for house plants a year ago and hasn't looked back with business booming in Norwich.
Self-confessed plant addict Joe Ridoutt opened Bo-Tanical as a pop-up stall in October 2018 as he spotted a gap in the market.
Since then, he moved to several other locations on Norwich Market and has now returned to his original stall in Row A, and expanded into the neighbouring one too, and sells house plants, pots, terrariums, bonsai trees and kokedama.
As he prepares to celebrate the first birthday of Bo-Tanical, Mr Ridoutt couldn't have predicted the growth of the business, which now receives two deliveries a day and sells almost 1,000 plants a week.
He has also taken on full-time employee Pepper Chapman, has over 14,000 Instagram followers and on weekends it is sometimes so busy that people can't get in.
Mr Ridoutt said: "I was a complete plant addict and had a house full of plants and didn't think there was enough in the way of variety in Norwich.
"Property was an interesting industry to work in but it wasn't something I had much in the way of passion for and plants I do so it was an easy change for me.
"We get new stuff every single day, so every time people come in here there is always something different and Instagram has been fantastic for us."
He currently deals with 10 countries across the EU to source the plants, including the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, but is trying not to think about Brexit at the moment.
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Mr Ridoutt added: "I try and go with the blinkered view of just ignoring it so I just focus on what we are doing now as there is not much I can do to change that vote."
It was also a big year of change in his personal life as he juggled the new business with the birth of his child Ivy six months ago and he admits that he "doesn't know what he was thinking" launching a business at the same time.
Speaking about the future, Mr Ridoutt said: "I don't want to go into too much detail but we are looking at more locations and are also working on our website.
"Thank you so much to the people of Norwich for supporting us, it has been amazing and we are really overwhelmed."
Bo-Tanical is open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday at row A, stall 14-15 at Norwich Market.