A NEW gardening and food store is set to open in Aldermaston this year.

The owners of Rosebourne, in Weyhill, Andover, decided to expand the business and have purchased a new site in Aldermaston, where construction work on the new building is underway.

The single storey 3,500m2 garden centre is on an existing nursery site which closed down, and it will include a modern farm shop, restaurant, butchery and plant centre.

Jon Kitching, marketing director at Rosebourne, said: “We opened the Andover store two years ago and Aldermaston will be our second site and it will be almost identical.

“It’s a bit different to a garden centre. It’s got a hint of gardening but  we are quite big on fresh food and local produce and have an in-house butchers. We will have quite a large restaurant with an ethos that we use all the food from the food hall. These are the two new elements so it’s a bit different to normal garden centres.”

Rosebourne’s local suppliers include Owton’s Butchers, from Southampton, Wessex Wild Plum Company, from Winchester, Red Bluff Farm Microgreens, from Andover, Claytons Eggs, from Romsey, Good Taste Bakery, from Camberley and The Cold Pressed Oil Company, from Crondall.

The restaurant will offer table service, and visitors can enjoy a seasonal menu as well as a selection of cakes or afternoon tea.

The menu at the Andover store includes an extensive range of drinks, including cocktails, wines, beers, and an impressive range of hot and cold drinks, with some unusual options such as tiramisu latte.

Breakfast is also served until 11am, with options including a full English and eggs benedict.

The new store will create around 80 jobs, and it is hoped the majority will be given to local people.

The team have already started recruiting, with a view to employing staff to start before the store opens in October, so they can help fit the store.

“It’s a big boost to employment in the area,” said Jon, adding: “We will  move in probably around August to shop fit so we need staff to help with that. We need experienced people in horticulture but we will also train some people up so there are various opportunities.”

Plans are in place for a grand opening, with a celebrity guest invited to cut the ribbon, details of which will be revealed nearer the time.

For more information visit rosebourne.co.uk.