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25 years of GroWell…Then vs. Now

25 years of GroWell…Then vs. Now

1994 was a good year.

Brit Pop was at its height… Pulp Fiction stunned cinema audiences… PlayStation changed home gaming forever… and the first GroWell shop opened!

On Friday 29th March 2019 we celebrated 25 years of GroWell!


Some things never change, but we certainly have!

March 1994:

GroWell Solihull Opens

You’ve got to start somewhere, and for us it started with an old holiday chalet and a plot of land. We bought the chalet from Eastbourne, plonked it in Solihull then converted it to a shop. It wasn't much to look at, but it did the job. And it was ours. 

Solihull Original shop - buildingSolihull Original shop - building
Solihull Original shop - buildingSolihull Original shop - building
Solihull Original shop - tunnelSolihull Original shop - tunnel

March 1994:

1st UK Price List

This should really be in a museum! Most items that have gone up, have only done so by a couple of quid (impressive when you think about it). But the cost of grow lights has really come down! Back then a 400W light cost £289! With that kind of money these days you're looking at a Gavita! 

Price List 1Price List 1
Price List 2Price List 2
Price List 3Price List 3

March 1994:

Malvern Spring Gardening Show,  Leamington Peace Festivals & BBC Gardeners' World

You might've caught us at a chilli show or two, but the first festival we went to was the Malvern Spring Gardening Show. After that it was the Leamington Peace Festival, then BBC Gardeners' World at the NEC!

Peace FestivalPeace Festival
Malvern FestivalMalvern Festival
BBC Gardeners WorldBBC Gardeners World

March 1994:

1st GroWell Catalogue

Anyone remember this old thing? It's really bulked out over the years. You can get our latest version here: https://www.growell.co.uk/cataloguerequest

Catalogue 1999 CoverCatalogue 1999 Cover
Catalogue 1999 Inside 1Catalogue 1999 Inside 1
Catalogue 1999 Inside 2Catalogue 1999 Inside 2

March 1997:

GroWell Solihull gets a Makeover

It wasn't long before we needed more space and had to rebuild. This time we did it with a porta cabin! It was about 3 times the size of our first build. 

Solihull makeover shop - buildingSolihull makeover shop - building
Solihull makeover shop - sideSolihull makeover shop - side
Solihull makeover shop - sideSolihull makeover shop - side

March 1998:

1st website launched

Ahhh, the good old days, when dial-up internet was everywhere and Google didn’t even exist.

It's taken 4 major redesigns to get to where we are now! We've had new websites in 2001, 2003, 2011 & 2015!

Website 1998Website 1998
Website 2001Website 2001
Website 2003Website 2003

March 1999:

GroWell Solihull Revamp

Third time's the charm! It was still the porta cabin, but a few licks of paint, a new interior and a decent storefront made all the difference.

Solihull 1Solihull 1
Solihull 2Solihull 2
Solihull on mapSolihull on map

January 2005:

Print Newsletters started

Growing can be tricky! And the game changes all the time! To keep you guys updated, we started releasing print newsletters.

Print Newsletter 2005 CoverPrint Newsletter 2005 Cover
Print Newsletter 2005 InsidePrint Newsletter 2005 Inside
Print Newsletter 2005 BackPrint Newsletter 2005 Back

April 2005:

GroWell Fulham Opens

It was time to open our second shop. And South London was the obvious choice. It was a big hit, and helped fund our next shop.

Fulham Opens - FrontFulham Opens - Front
Fulham Opens - CounterFulham Opens - Counter
Fulham Opens - InsideFulham Opens - Inside

January 2008:

GroWell Dudley Opens

For our third shop, we went back to our roots in the West Midlands. We nabbed a fab location. This little gem was the first GroWell shop to have a VIP room, and is now home to #GroWellTentCity.

Dudley ShellDudley Shell
Dudley InsideDudley Inside
Dudley FrontDudley Front

July 2009:

GroWell Coleshill Opens

This one was our biggest shop yet, with over 12,000 sq. ft. of space and plenty of parking! No wonder it's our flagship store.

Coleshill Opens 1Coleshill Opens 1
Coleshill Opens 2Coleshill Opens 2
Coleshill Opens 3Coleshill Opens 3

April 2010:

GroWell Hockley Heath Opens (The Big Move!)

It was sad, but the Solihull shop we started with had finally outgrown itself. It was time to move on. We picked a nice spot in a more remote, rural location. One that was far easier to get to by car. We had our work cut out for us with this shop - we had to convert a barn! Good job we don't mind getting our hands dirty!

Hockley Heath Opens 1Hockley Heath Opens 1
Hockley Heath Opens 2Hockley Heath Opens 2
Hockley Heath Opens 3Hockley Heath Opens 3

May 2011:

GroWell Blog

Customers were always asking for advice. So we decided to make it available online. Enter the GroWell blog. We were the first grow shop to launch one.

Blog 1Blog 1
Blog 2Blog 2
Blog 3Blog 3

June 2011:

GroWell Wembley Opens

There were too many Londoners for one shop to handle. It was time to open our second spot in the capital. We once grew a Jabuticaba (Brazilian grape tree you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in the UK) here under Gavita lights.

Wembley 1Wembley 1
Wembley 2Wembley 2
Wembley 3Wembley 3

July 2011:

We went Social!

We've always had some awesome interactions with customers. Social media is now the best way to hear about competitions and keep up to date with GroWell news.

Facebook PostFacebook Post
Twitter PostTwitter Post
Instagram PostInstagram Post

May 2012:

GroWell Birmingham Opens

A lot of our customers are Brummies, so this shop was a no brainer. Luckily, just as we needed to expand this shop, the one next door became available. We just merged the two together. Job done.

Birmingham 1Birmingham 1
Birmingham 2Birmingham 2
Birmingham 3Birmingham 3

January 2013:

GroWell Merton replaces Fulham

It was a long time coming. Hydroponics had been big business in the UK for years, and our Fulham shop just wasn’t big enough. So we moved to GroWell Merton. 

Merton 1Merton 1
Merton 2Merton 2
Merton 3Merton 3

March 2013:

GroWell Bristol Opens

In the same year, we started spreading further south. This was the first shop we set up outside of London and the Midlands. It was also the first one to have a closed-loop room. 

Bristol 1Bristol 1
Bristol 2Bristol 2
Bristol 3Bristol 3

June 2013:

GroWell Sheffield Opens

With Sheffield came our much-loved GroWell Greenhouse! There’ve been some weird and wonderful things in here. It’s a great place for testing products and filming demos.

Sheffield 1Sheffield 1
Sheffield 2Sheffield 2
Sheffield 3Sheffield 3


GroWell Rebranded

The garish blue and green of the 90s just weren't doing it for us anymore. Grey and green was way more up our street.

Old BrandingOld Branding
New BrandingNew Branding
New BrandingNew Branding

January 2018:

GroWell Wembley Refit

This was the first shop to get a makeover. The coffee and consultation bar made its debut at Wembley along with media bays and our lighting, fans & heaters, environment and ventilation stands.

Wembley Refit - BeforeWembley Refit - Before
Wembley Refit - AfterWembley Refit - After
Wembley Refit - Coffee AreaWembley Refit - Coffee Area

September 2018:

GroWell Birmingham Refit

It was more than a refit - we also expanded the shop to make more space for displays.

Birmingham Refit - BeforeBirmingham Refit - Before
Birmingham Refit - AfterBirmingham Refit - After
Birmingham Refit - FrontBirmingham Refit - Front

October 2018:

GroWell Coleshill Refit

Following on from the success of other refit projects, we couldn’t wait to get stuck into Coleshill! It includes some unique displays, like the Quest Dehumidifiers stand and the BAY6 2.4m x 3.6m Tent pimped out with DLI lights and a 9-Pot RhizoSystem Drip & Drain System!

Coleshill Refit - BeforeColeshill Refit - Before
Coleshill Refit - AfterColeshill Refit - After
Coleshill Refit - tentsColeshill Refit - tents

November 2018:

GroWell Dudley Refit

Two floors of fun await you at Dudley, including the fully operational closed loop room. Oh and don’t forget to take a tour of #GroWellTentCity when you visit. It's inspiring!

Dudley Refit - BeforeDudley Refit - Before
Dudley Refit - AfterDudley Refit - After
Dudley Refit - Tent CityDudley Refit - Tent City


Ongoing refits for 2019...

Two floors of fun await you at Dudley, including the fully operational closed loop room. Oh and don’t forget to take a tour of #GroWellTentCity when you visit. It's inspiring!

Sheffield RefitSheffield Refit
Bristol RefitBristol Refit
Merton RefitMerton Refit

Two floors of fun await you at Dudley, including the fully operational closed loop room. Oh and don’t forget to take a tour of #GroWellTentCity when you visit. It's inspiring!

About the author

Alex is one of our Directors! It's his job to sniff out the best products and keep operations in order. His toe stays firmly dipped in marketing, too!

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