Published: March 16, 2020 | Updated: March 16, 2020

Garden centre Chairman gives growth tips of a business kind at third annual Leader’s Lunch

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Garden centre boss Warren Haskins gave growth tips of the business kind when he addressed a packed lunchtime gathering in Poole.

Mr Haskins, Chairman of Haskins Garden Centres, was the guest speaker at the third annual Leader’s Lunch, staged by Evolve, the membership community for entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Held at the Haven Hotel in Sandbanks, the event brought together top business people from all over Dorset for valuable networking and much-needed inspiration.

Mr Haskins spoke with humour and humility about taking on the family business, founded in 1882, at the age of 20, and growing it into one of the UK’s top garden centre groups.

He also successfully founded, and subsequently sold, the arts and crafts chain, Hobbycraft.

Mr Haskins said: “I’ve been running the business for more than 50 years and I’m very passionate about it and want to see it continue.”

Questioned about the current situation facing high street shops, he remarked: “I’m not too worried because people love shopping and they still come to my garden centre.

“We’re still trading well but I don’t know what the solution is for some other shops.

“I think it’s got to be managed and that it will evolve and we’ve just got to live with less shops.”

Warren Munson, Evolve Founder, said, “There were a few key things to take from Warren’s talk.

“One is that giving people the opportunity to do the right thing helps to grow your team and that embracing technology is key to the continued growth of your business, especially in these fast-paced times.

“It was fascinating to get a perspective on family businesses and how you retain that involvement of the family – keeping the business alive, but allowing them the opportunity to grow as individuals.”

  • To learn more about Evolve’s events and peer groups, as well as access to informative content, visit and join for free.
  • Dorset Biz News was proud to be the media partner for the Leader’s Lunch.