Johnsons shortlisted for Family Business of the Year Award

Yorkshire-based Johnsons of Whixley has been shortlisted for Family Business of The Year in the 2021 Family Business United Awards.

The 100-year-old commercial nursery will have the chance to scoop the Yorkshire, regional and supreme champion titles for 2021.

Family members who work at Johnsons include Chairman John Richardson, Group Managing Director Graham Richardson and Directors Iain and Andrew Richardson. Also on the team are Tracey Richardson and John’s grandchildren Luke, Robert, Eleanor, Paul, Shaun and Jonathan Richardson, who perform a variety of roles.

Despite the challenges the company faced in 2020, including COVID-19, a break-in that destroyed thousands of plants and Brexit, turnover reached a remarkable £13.2 million, the second-highest figure on record. In 2020, Johnsons sold 5.3 million plants, welcomed 495 new customers, made 25 donations, completed over 10,000 quotes and made 11,000 safe deliveries throughout the UK.

Johnsons is one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in the UK, supplying stock for high-profile schemes including the Forth Road Bridge, HS1, Royal Parks, the Athletes’ Village at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the five-star hotel Grantley Hall.

Chairman John’s eldest grandson Luke Richardson oversees the running of the cash and carry side of the business and is a senior member of both the commercial sales team and senior management group. Thanks to Luke and his team, the cash and carry side of the business celebrated a record-breaking 2020. Since Luke took charge of the unit in 2018, sales revenue has increased by 35%.

Robert Richardson runs the production operation, with responsibility for growing more than three million shrubs and trees annually, managing a seasonal team of up to 150.

John’s granddaughter Eleanor Richardson is Johnsons’ first full-time staff member for marketing. She has been instrumental in raising the company’s profile via traditional and modern marketing methods, while managing the company website, social media platforms and PR.

The company is no stranger to awards success, taking two titles at the 2019 York Press Awards – Family Business of the Year and the overall Business of the Year award.

Graham Richardson commented: “It’s great to start 2021 with some positive news. We are incredibly proud to have been shortlisted amongst many other fantastic family businesses. It would be a great result to win, especially during our centenary year. We wish all the other businesses the best of luck and look forward to the awards evening in June.”

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