A forecourt retailer in Ilford, Essex, sold £18,500 worth of plants and flowers over Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day combined this year.

Despite facing competition from a nearby Tesco, Co-op, Lidl and a florist within a short walk away, JET New North Road store owner Janu Patel’s investment in flowers has more than paid off.

When Janu took over the store 15 years ago, it was selling around £12 worth of flowers each week. Janu was able to turn things around, despite losing money in the first few months, after displaying around £500 worth of bouquets each week. Since then, the displays have been paying off and Janu now has average weekly flower sales of around £2,000.

Janu said: “I don’t even need to advertise my flowers as we’re now renowned for our beautiful displays and ranges. The plants and flowers have definitely had a knock on effect on sales of other shop items and some of our customers travel from quite a distance just because they know and trust the quality of our flowers.

“I love the fact that we are completely breaking down all the stereotypes associated with forecourt flowers and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved here over the years.”

Chris Murphy, JET’s territory manager for the South East, said: “Janu is a great example of a forward-thinking dealer who spotted a gap in the market and went for it. I’ve seen at first-hand how committed Janu is to the site and how passionate he is about offering his customers the very best quality and range of flowers. He’s hit on a fantastic opportunity and deserves every success.”