In 1962, Robert Stodel took a leap of faith to follow his dream: leaving his corporate career to start a gardening business. His humble beginnings, selling via a mail order catalogue, door to door visits and even out of his van on the Grand Parade, speak volumes about the man who built Stodels step-by-step into a thriving chain of award-winning garden centres around the Western Cape.
The first Stodels Garden Centre opened in Kenilworth in 1968, followed by Stodels Bellville (where HQ is situated today) in 1973. Since 2005, with the opening of Stodels Milnerton, the company has been on an expansion strategy, opening Stodels Constantia in March 2012 and Stodels Somerset West in August 2012.
Since taking over from his father as Managing Director in 2006, Nick Stodel has continued to grow his dad’s legacy of excellent customer service while also being recognised as an ambitious and dynamic leader in his own right. Nick was appointed President of the South African Nursery Association in May 2010 and President of the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) in September 2011 – he is the first IGCA President to be elected from the African continent and the Southern Hemisphere.
Since May 2012 Stodels has been a winner at the annual Garden Centre Awards, with the most recent accolade being awarded to Stodels Bellville for Best Garden Centre in the Western Cape 2016.
“We work hard to make sure that we give our customers great service and great prices. In return, they often share their gardening experiences with us via email, Facebook and increasingly, Instagram”, says Nick. “A strong relationship with our customers is what makes Stodels more than just a business”, he adds. “We work hard to serve our community.”