Mayor Tom visits the Jungle

Cllr Andrea Spice, store owner Tony Le-Britton, and Mayor Tom Wootton, outside Not Another Jungle

A house plant expert who has provided plants for the Royal Family has explained why he chose to open his new store in Bedford town centre.

Tony Le-Britton is the owner of Not Another Jungle, which recently opened in Silver Street, and was visited by Mayor of Bedford Borough Tom Wootton, along with Cllr Andrea Spice, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, and members of the Economic Development team.

And the store is much more than a house plant store, as it also offers a range of gifts, fresh coffee, and will be running workshops.

Tony said; “I have a friend who lives in Bedford, who saw the shop front and sent me a picture of the shop front.

“I’d never been to Bedford, I didn’t know the town, but shortly afterwards I came to see another friend at the Bedford Flea Market. I saw how lively it is, the buzz here, and thought ‘I can make this work!’.”

Not Another Jungle has also benefitted from a refurbished shop front, funded through the £1.76m Bedford High Street Heritage Action Zone Programme.

This has been a joint project between Bedford Borough Council and Historic England, in partnership with BedfordBID and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, designed to revitalise Bedford town centre and creating a more positive shopping environment.

Tony who already has another branch of Not Another Jungle in Northampton, also works as an expert for the Royal Horticultural Society. And he has had a book published too, which is also called Not Another Jungle.

Tony describes creating wreaths for the Princess of Wales’s carol service at Westminster Abbey as the “real pinnacle” of his career to date.

But ultimately his priority is always customers. And his philosophy on retail is simple: Make shopping into an experience.

He said; “I like to design my stores like they are a beauty or clothes boutique.

“People should be able to take their time and speak to an expert. Every customer here gets welcomed as they come in, and everyone who works here is either an expert or is training to be one.

“We’re already planning workshops on terrariums, and then there will be one on plant care.”

Tom Wootton, Mayor of Bedford Borough said; “There are so many reasons to visit Bedford town centre. But having a leading figure like Tony come here and share his passion for both plants and for retail, is a real pleasure.

“The arrival of Not Another Jungle is another vote of confidence in our town and our borough from a new business.” 

You can find out more about Not Another Jungle on Instagram at @notanotherjungle

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