A Barclays bank manager has had an orchid named after her after helping a local horticutural firm to bloom.
Hollyoak Orchid’s “Paula Mary” plant, which has just been officially unveiled, will be available through branches of Waitrose and garden centres across the UK later this year.
It was named after Barclays relationship manager Paula Haycocks, who has helped support the Pershore-based firm over the last 18 months.
The five-strong business is one of only four orchid growers across the UK and supplies over 1,200 orchids a week to retailers across the UK.
Established in 2003 by husband and wife Tim and Janet Morris, the business imports young orchid plants from German supplier Bremkens Orchideen before nurturing and growing them for another year, when they will finally flower and be ready for market.
Hollyoak Orchids director Tim Morris said: “My wife and I met at Pershore College of Horticultural and both have a passion for Orchids, so growing them commercially just seemed the natural progression.
“We currently have a rolling stock of around 30,000 orchids at various stages of development and demand will now peak as Christmas approaches.
“We decided to name our new orchid after Paula due to the support she provided to our business during some difficult times.
“We had lost over £100,000 of stock due to a rooting problem and if Paula had not stepped in and refinanced our business we may not have been here today.
“Despite what you hear there are some banks and local managers out there who are prepared to listen and step in when required.
“We were very pleased to be able to name an orchid after her.”
Paula Haycocks, Barclays agricultural business manager, said, “I’m truly honoured to have this beautiful orchid named after me but the biggest thrill I have is watching this business continue to trade and grow in every sense of the word.
“Barclay’s research identifies the significant role entrepreneurs play in the economy and is committed to supporting such propositions.
“By using our knowledge and experience within the local market, Barclays Business has been delighted to support Hollyoak Orchids and wishes the business every success for the future.”
Mr Morris added: “Future plans include expansion into other retailers and making the beautiful orchid, the number one pot plant in the UK.
“We grow our orchids as naturally as possible, using nature as a bouncing board with a little tender loving care from ourselves to produce a top quality product.
“Running your own business is demanding but the freedom to make your own decisions and implement your own creative ideas are hugely rewarding.
“We have recently produced our own orchid feed which we will be retailing via our existing distribution network and making available online in 2011.”