Central Otago property combines long-established family business and lifestyle
November 2022

Central Otago property combines long-established family business and lifestyle

Well known Teviot Valley, Central Otago business Ettrick Gardens, located 83 kilometres north of Milton and 52 kilometres south of Alexandra, is for sale.

John and Heather Preedy, who have both lived in the area all their lives, bought the land and started the business in 1981.

While State Highway Eight passers-by stop in for produce at the on-site retail shop, Ettrick Gardens was a founding vendor at Dunedin’s Otago Farmers Market in March 2003, trading there ever since. Since the March 2020 lockdown they have also sold produce online, serving regular customers throughout Otago and as far north as Fairlie.

Exclusively selling direct to the public works well, as John explains.

“We haven’t sold through supermarkets since the Otago Farmers Market started. Smaller growers find it increasingly tough. Supplying direct to consumers enables us to control our own destiny, which is how we thrive. While there are seasonal peaks for each, business is split about 50-50 through the Market and in the shop,” he says.

Building a social media presence is helping boost the on-line business, and another important principle is low or no use of sprays.

Varieties of produce grown at Ettrick Gardens is almost unlimited, as Heather explains.

“You name it, we grow it, from asparagus and artichokes to zucchinis.

“We grow fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh and frozen berries, and sell local preserves, honey and condiments.

“Trends evolve: 40 years ago few shoppers would recognise a zucchini. We note the questions customers ask and monitor the cooking shows. If a new thing comes along, we try it. When kale became popular, we started growing that, and more recently, after Master Chef featured it, we grow and sell golden beetroot. Our frozen berry sales have rocketed up after recent news stories about imported berries. It only takes a few months to introduce a new vege, though fruit trees take a bit longer,” she says.

Ettick Gardens - vege patch

Both Preedys have deep local roots: Heather’s parents were orchardists on a neighbouring property, while Roxburgh-born John’s great-grandmother was one of Central Otago’s pioneering apricot growers.

Now they are ready to retire, engaging Shane Turfus and Sally Taylor of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Alexandra to help find new owners for Ettrick Gardens.

Shane says it is a great opportunity to own and run a successful family business.

Ettick Gardens - greenhouse

“Ettrick Gardens is available as two separate properties: the 4.4-hectare home block and the 4.5-hectare support block, which is on three titles. Consisting of a three-bedroom home, a sleep out, an implement shed, cool stores, and the retail premises, the home block produces cherries, berries, pears, apples, plums, greengages, various vegetables, cut flowers, garlic and shallots. A short distance away, the Miller Flat support block, which includes two large hothouses and a four-bay implement shed, grows pears, apples and a wide variety of berries and vegetables. Both properties have irrigation and frost fighting infrastructure.

“With many repeat customers, Ettrick Gardens’ reputation speaks for itself,” says Shane.


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