A MAN who is a master of his craft is behind a business which has traded in Hexham for the last 40 years.
Chris Dunne is the hands behind the products at The Potting Shed on Broadgates.
His workshop and shop are a familiar feature for many in the town, which supplies a combination of garden centre clients, passing trade and most recently online shoppers.
“For most of my time here my customers have been garden centres around the country,” said Chris.
“Hexham’s location gives easy access to deliver to main population centres in northern England and the south of Scotland.”
Chris’s vast range of terracotta pots, which he makes by hand, blend into any garden setting, making the plants they hold the star of the show.
Strawberry pots, rhubarb forcers, lily pots and wall pots mean every type of garden and plant is catered for.
As with many small businesses, online retail has benefited The Potting Shed.
“The shop itself is just a small proportion of my turnover,” he added.
“There is one product that outsells everything else in the shop though, both locally and on the website.”
The top seller is the personalised pot, engraved by Chris with names and dates. A standard 12-inch flower pot is transformed into a memory to celebrate weddings, new homes, birthdays and many other events.
And, after four decades of experience, what does Chris make of Hexham as a retail destination?
“Upmarket shops, like those in Corbridge, are an essential part of the mix of successful market towns in other parts of the country,” he said.