Ballynahinch brother and sister extend their Blue Cedar business with new features.
Exciting plans are underway to transform a well-established garden, coffee and landscape business into a viable space addressing customer needs writes Laura Barr.
Blue Cedar, situated in Ballynahinch, are adapting their outdoor premises with the addition of new features to meet the changing needs of their customers.
Works have commenced on a new farm shop and sheltered coffee area plus an expansion to the children’s play area is due to start later in the year.
Blue Cedar was formed in August 2019 by Spa siblings William and Alex Getty who wanted to create a unique business offering different services.
Speaking to Down News, Alex said that establishing Blue Cedar has always been something the siblings wanted to do.
“William is a landscape gardener and I always wanted to run a coffee shop, so it made sense for us to set up our own business bringing together two things we are very passionate about.”
Blue Cedar have had two expansions since 2019 and both William and Alex are looking forward to welcoming their customers back once the latest Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
“We started off with one container which is our coffee shop and we have always had the garden centre outside.
“And from that we have put in a new container which is our potting shed” Alex explained.
“After the first lockdown we had to restructure everything, so we have ended up changing the original coffee shop to a take-away and we put in a new container which functions as an outdoor sheltered seating area.
“With new containers arriving on Monday we plan to put the farm shop/greengrocers store in there and we will also be expanding the gift shop.
“Most of our produce in the farm shop will be from Northern Irish/Irish based suppliers.”
Alex said that everything is going to plan with the groundwork completed and they are now awaiting the arrival of the containers.
“Fingers crossed we will be able to start fitting everything out within the next week or two.
“Ideally we would like to have everything in place and ready for when the restrictions are lifted but of course we can’t give a specific time of when that will actually be.”
Speaking about their vision for 2021, Alex added: “We want Blue Cedar to be an experience for people and for them to enjoy the many aspects to our business.
“We want people to come and spend the morning or afternoon at Blue Cedar catching up with friends and family, enjoying a coffee and be able to pick up some fresh produce.
“We have a small children’s play area here already but we are planning to expand on that too sometime this year.
“It works really well having that space for the children and so many mums come here to meet friends and enjoy their coffee and chat while the kids can run about and play.”
The seating area at Blue Cedar has been restructured into an outdoor sheltered area with a wood burning stove.
“I think given the times we are in it was important to think about moving the seated area outdoors but still maintaining a relaxed and cosy vibe.
“The feedback from our customers is that they love having space where they can meet and at the same time not feel too exposed or uncomfortable about being in close proximity with others.”
Alex continued: “Plenty of fresh air is important and that is certainly what we are trying to encourage and why we restructured it.
“We love the outdoors vibe that Blue Cedar offers, and I think people are definitely beginning to appreciate being outside and relaxing in that space.”