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Mark and Clare Brown bought property in Waitati in 1988 with plans to set up a nursery. Twenty-One years ago on the site, Blueskin Nurseries moved into a three-bedroomed villa on the Main Road in Waitati.
While it may have appeared out of the way for customers, the Browns believed its location- just a 15 minute drive over the motorway from Dunedin – would attract regular customers from the city, and the surrounding rural communities.
They were proved correct, and as the centre’s reputation for quality trees and plants, top service and knowledge provided became known, it began to grow.
After 15 years the 100 year-old “pink” villa was demolished and replaced with a purpose built shop with a wide selection of garden products and giftware.
Eight years ago the Blueskin Café opened, which added a whole new dimension to the business. And just as the centre has become a destination facility so has the café, with motorists dropping in for a hearty breakfast, lunch or the best cup of coffee in town (Organic Fair Trade Coffee). It now also offers cold drinks such as frappes and smoothies.
Blueskin Nurseries has gone from strength to strength during the past 21 years, with the pinnacle to date being named the Best New Zealand Garden Centre 2008-09.
One of the biggest highlights in Blueskin history is our successes at Ellerslie International Flower Show 2014. Sally Brown did an exhibit garden "Passion" a showcase of plants. She achived a Silver Award, Supreme Award for Horticultural Excellence and the Yate's Peoples Choice Award. It has been a very exciting time for us all at Blueskin.