Coleman’s Garden Centre was established in 1965 and is located on a 10 acre site on the Old Balyclare Road. One of the most established names in gardening in Northern Ireland, supplying everything for gardens including trees, shrubs, bedding plants, compost, bark, pots, chemicals, seeds, bulbs, tools and garden furniture.
The owners of Coleman’s approached Appetite Me with plans to create 100 jobs through a £5 million investment in an extensive renovation and extension of its facilities, with the first phase of the major project completed in October 2017.
Phase one of the project featured an 18,000 sq ft building, which houses a garden centre and restaurant. Appetite was responsible for project managing the new restaurant, which would be a licensed 200 seat establishment serving a wide variety of freshly made food using local produce. This included not only the design, but staff recruitment, menu design, and sourcing the products served.
Appetite Me sourced local and independent artisan producers for the restaurant menu, and this is reflected across all of the dishes. The beef is grown and produced farm to plate in County Antrim to not only help local farmers but also local jobs in the supply line. The chicken is Irish bred, and again supplied farm to plate with complete traceability.
Appetite Me ensured that all desserts are produced in house, again using local ingredients and flavours. The local Irish cheese board includes Belfast made Kearney Blue and also the award winning Heggarty’s Cheddar, 12 month matured.
We encouraged chefs nurture strong relationships with a range of local, artisan food producers who share a passion for great food, as we believe the ingredients are as important as the chef.
Phase two of the project involves adding an additional 32,000 square feet of garden centre retail which is scheduled to open Easter 2017. Part of this space will include a rural farm style shop, and in keeping with the ethos of the restaurant, will sell the very best local and regional artisan food and drink the area has to offer, along with bespoke own label products under the columns brand. Appetite Me will also be project managing this area of the new development to ensure it is in keeping with the new band identity created for Colemans.
“Phase one of our development is already well underway and we are excited to see our plans take shape. By adding an extensive variety of exclusive retailer and brands to the garden products and services we already have on offer, we hope to attract a wider audience from the local area and beyond.”
– Richard Fry, Coleman’s managing director