We spoke to Daniel from Bexley Butterfly House to kick off our Meet the Seller series for 2021. Bexley signed up to Candide Marketplace in Autumn 2020, and already have a huge range of products to browse on their shop!
We love a story of a business being saved, and it’s even better when there are tropical butterflies involved! When it looked like Bexley Butterfly House was set to close due to the pandemic, employees Daniel and Phil jumped to its rescue. ‘We saw how important this community attraction was to everyone, and felt we needed to step in and save it,’ they said.
Meet Bexley Butterfly House
The previous operator of Bexley Butterfly House was hit hard by the first lockdown and was looking to close the business. Daniel and Phil, who had both worked at Bexley for years, couldn’t bear to see it go as they loved their jobs, so between the two of them, they decided to take over the business!
Being unable to open the Butterfly House due to lockdowns, the pair have diversified their range of stock and their methods of selling to help them through the pandemic. Their team of 4 is made up of self-professed ‘enthusiastic plant geeks,’ which is how they first came across Candide. Having used our site for plant tips and the Marketplace for their own ‘plant fix,’ they took the plunge and decided to start selling!
Phil has been impressed with how easy it has been to list their large range of seeds, plants and gifts and they enjoy sharing their products to the Candide community. Candide has also helped them to showcase their business to a ‘specific crowd of people’, Daniel told us, broadening their reach online.
Bexley Butterfly House sell an array of colourful orchids
The power of pollinators
Protecting the environment is central to the ethos of their business, and Bexley take several measures to ensure that they’re having a positive impact. ‘We try to get products that have a low carbon footprint,’ Daniel told us, ‘so we order from some of the best growers in the Netherlands who are renowned for their green growing technology.’ They also supply lots of plants that are good for bees and butterflies and don’t use any pesticides, adding that taking care of our pollinators is a pressing issue ‘which will affect our whole world and the biodiversity which underpins our own existence.’
Pictured: A clearwinged butterfly from Bexely Butterfly House
Planning your garden
Bexley have a great range of seeds on their Marketplace shop, and now is the perfect time to start buying your seeds for the year ahead! Daniel’s advice for new gardeners looking to get stuck in this year was ‘to start off small and slowly’ as ‘going too crazy will leave you with no room’!
His favourite seed in their collection at the moment was the Tithonia or ‘Mexican Sunflower’, as they’re a beautifully tropical annual which produces masses of blooms that are great for pollinators! In his own garden this year, Daniel is hoping to grow some hardy tropicals like Grevillias and Banksias.
What’s coming up next?
Over the next five years, they’re looking to expand the business and bring their range of rare and unusual houseplants to a wider audience. Daniel has a special interest in Orchids and Hoyas and is hoping to increase their assortment of these in particular.
If this has got you itching to get planting in your garden, then head over to the Bexley Butterfly House shop on Candide. For more stories of seller’s on Candide, check out these interviews with Purple Bloom Seeds and My Wish Tree.