Delivering quality & service since 1979
CJ Love employs over 20 people, runs 5 delivery vans, offers customers the option to buy from a 15,000ft² warehouse or a cutting edge webshop with direct links to auctions and suppliers around the world.
Not bad for a business that started 40 years ago with one man and his van. Here’s how it all started…
Where it all began
First steps – importing from Holland
The business starts to grow
When the Love family move to a bigger house in Sidcup, Cliff moves operations to this new base, effectively now running the business from the back garden.
CJ Love purchases a second van and Darryl starts a new delivery round, specialising in flowers and venturing farther afield into London, Kent and Essex.
Gavin Lindsey joins the sales team and takes over Cliff’s delivery round.
3rd Member of Staff Joins
Paul Crowson joins CJ Love as Sale Manager and starts another flower van round which really cements CJ Love’s presence in Kent. At this stage, the vans still go to market daily to stock up on English flowers as well as buying from HIP.
This is an exciting time for CJ Love as, just before Mother’s Day ’94, having outgrown Cliff’s garden, the company moves to their current site in North Cray Road. The ‘unit’ is effectively a large, glass greenhouse about 50ft x 20ft in size, standing in the middle of a field. This greenhouse is now the basis for our main warehouse section, although it’s not glass now!
More Vans & More Space
CJ Love’s expansion continues as fourth van joins the fleet and a sundries delivery round is introduced. This proves very popular and more space is required…
The warehouse is extended to accommodate a chilled flower room of around 30ft x15ft, a covered section for plants and storage area for sundries adding around 7,000ft² to the site.
Increased Imports from Holland
Up until this point, Cliff has been buying carnations, spray cars and other imported flowers via the market but the volume required now means that import flowers can be sourced directly. Unsurprisingly, sales go up as prices and quality improve.
Cliff’s Eldest Son Joins
’97 – Cliff’s son Dan joins the growing empire as a Saturday boy, learning the trade from the grass roots up. Dan is currently head buyer at CJ Love.
’98 – As things get busier, Gary Playford join the sales team and Nigel Baker is brought into the accounts department.
Fresh imports 6 days a week
Love’s goes digital
CJ Love set up their first website, a very simple affair but a web presence nonetheless.
A webshop is launched allowing customers to order online for the first time. At first the webshop is simple but within a short time there are direct links with Holland and the shop becomes more interactive.
Wholesaler of the Year