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Success stories

Entrepreneur sows business roots in popular Cardiff arcade

Harry Thorpe of Plant and Pot

A budding entrepreneur from Cardiff has credited his first month of rapid sales growth to the support received from Business Wales, after taking over a popular independent plant business.

In January 2024 Harry Thorpe, an Architecture Design graduate from Cardiff University, successfully bought out Plant and Pot, an independent houseplant shop based in Cardiff’s Royal Arcade.

Within the first month of signing the contract, Harry increased sales by 36%, expanded the revenue stream threefold by adding over 20 new products to the shop, and hired two new employees.

Thanks to Business Wales Advisor, Shayne Yates, who helped negotiate the proposed price down by over a quarter of asking price, Harry was able to re-invest five-figure savings back into the re-launch of Plant and Pot, leading to a marked increase in the first month’s profits.

Discussing Plant and Pot, Harry Thorpe said:

I’ve always been in awe of the city’s ability to support small independent businesses. The unique brick and mortar stores are gathered as an independent collective hub and are loved by locals and tourists alike. I didn’t consider owning my own business until I saw an advertisement for a new business owner in July last year.

My parents are keen business investors, and after some due diligence, they recognised Plant and Pot as a great investment opportunity and kindly offered to support my venture. I’m aware of how lucky I am to have that financial support; however, the acquisition of Plant and Pot and its success so far would look very different without the support of Business Wales who have helped me to implement a five-year business development plan into the first month of ownership.

Harry was introduced to Business Wales in 2016 by Cardiff University’s Enterprise Team, after setting up an architectural design business, CAUKIN Studios, with fellow master’s course mates. The support provided by the service’s experts, including business plan development, setting up a registered company, and accurate Welsh business landscape research, was pivotal to the business’ ongoing success. 

Eight years on and setting out his next entrepreneurial venture alongside CAUKIN Studios, Harry reached back out to Business Wales in August 2023, during the pre-acquisition and negotiation stages to purchase Plant and Pot. 

Shayne, who has over 26 years of experience as a business advisor and launched his own restaurant in 2017, guided Harry through the negotiations and contract process, offering advice on push back points and legal team and accountancy correspondence. 

Since acquiring the business, Shayne has continued to support Harry to develop a range of new business plans that can drive sales and monetise the business further, including a complete rebrand of the shop, and the launch of an interactive ecommerce website that opens a new online sales stream. 

Discussing the support of Business Wales, Harry said:

Purchasing and re-launching a business is an incredibly demanding process, especially when you’re doing it on your own. I would not be in the strong position I am now without Shayne’s guidance and real-world experience. His insights as a business advisor and entrepreneur helped me to save and re-invest money to immediately drive Plant and Pot’s growth.

Many entrepreneurs in Wales are struggling needlessly, either because they’re not aware, or wrongly assume they’re not eligible to access the incredible support that’s available to them. Business Wales can introduce you to a vast range of advisors and businesspeople with specialist knowledge and personal experience in many industries. I’d encourage anyone thinking of starting their own venture to explore how the service can help them.

In the coming months, workshops will be available to book online. Whether you’re a scout group, business, mental health charity, school, coffee shop, bank, or just a keen horticulturalist, you’ll be able to book a 1–2-1, hour long workshop where a member of the Plant and Pot team will help you create your own botanical design and introduce you to the mental health & wellbeing benefits of horticulture.

Discussing the success of Plant and Pot, Shayne Yates said: 

It’s common for people to have the misconception that our services are reserved for established businesses and startups, but that’s simply not the case. Business Wales’ experts are here to support any Welsh business, entrepreneur, or those looking to explore a commercial venture. Having access to impartial expert guidance is just as vital when looking to acquire a business, as it is when seeking to launch a startup, or grow an existing enterprise. It’s been a pleasure to work with Harry to purchase Plant and Pot and help him reinvigorate the business with new ideas that have resulted in near immediate sales growth, a trend I’m confident will continue.

Business Wales is funded by the Welsh Government. For more information and support to help your business discover opportunities, and to speak to a specialist advisor, contact Business Wales. Visit or call 03000 6 03000. Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg - we welcome calls in Welsh. 

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.