Who are The Clare Bulb Company?
When buying from the internet
it is important to trust the company that you may wish to deal with. After all,
there is a growing amount of fraud on the internet, and should one pass
over card details, one needs to be confident that there will be no unwelcome repercussions
at some future date.
For that reason we have put together a brief profile of the company, so you may judge for yourselves whether or not you feel comfortable dealing with us.
The company is run by Andy and Jane Bone, recently joined by their son Adam and his wife Debbie. It was started in a very small way in August 1974, as a means of providing Jane with some independent income. Andy had been a nurseryman in the 60's, and had maintained contact with various bulb growers, so it was quite easy to set up the business, and to run it from home.
It grew in turnover as
gardeners realised that the company offered extremely good value for money,
although the real growth started in 1999, when the company was featured in an
exclusive half page article in the Sunday Times weekend section. The article
highlighted the fact the business was run from a private home, yet managed to
offer customers the sort of service that was unusual in this modern age.
Turnover further grew when Andy learned how to make a website, this being
recommended by the Daily Telegraph in "Where to buy Spring Bulbs".
The company's policy is to offer a fairly restricted range of bulbs, (far, far less than the catalogues), but to sell bulbs that have stood the test of time. There are about 150 varieties altogether, which provide the majority of gardeners with all they could wish for. Furthermore, they only sell the larger size of bulbs, each one of which receives a quality check before it is sent to customers. They aim their business at those customers who, like themselves, have large gardens, and want to buy in reasonable quantities, without having to pay through the nose. In 2010 they introduced bluebells, snowdrops and aconites "In the Green" into their range, this having proved a great success.
Both Jane and Andy have other interests apart from the bulbs, as this is a seasonal business, leaving them time for other activities. Jane was for example the Borough councillor for Clare, which is part of the Borough of St Edmundsbury, and indeed she was Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds in 1994/5.
Andy is Chairman of an
old-established engineering company located in Ely, which among other things
manufactures bulb harvesters. He also used to sit on a Bank of England advisory
committee, (see picture below of Andy enjoying a working lunch with Mervyn King,
the then governor. (Andy is on Mr. King's right, and is seen trying to give him a £20
note to help solve the UK's balance of payments problem!).
When the working day is done Jane and Andy often like to take to the roads and lanes of Suffolk on one of Andy's classic motorcycles. In the picture below, they can be seen on Andy's Norton Commando, the picture appearing on the front cover of a well-known classic motorcycling magazine. They also breed Labrador puppies.
|Jane and Andy Bone||The bulb shop, open in the autumn||Andy and Mervyn King||Jane and Andy relaxing||Jane and the 2008 litter|
Riverside House Bulb Centre