With a love of the outdoors, a strong creative streak and having studied technical drawing and graphical communication, early career choices included architecture, set design or landscaping. However above these he chose commercial horticulture and studied at Agricultural College, with the aim of eventually developing the family business, Tulleys Farm, beyond the realms of Pick Your Own.
Stuart was the driving force behind the opening of the Farm Shop at Tulleys in 1992, and this quickly became at the forefront of its sector within the UK. With innovative displays, exciting marketing and a thoughtful approach to visitors, a truly unique customer experience had been created. A catering business was added in 1996, which further developed Tulleys into a destination where people relaxed and spent time.
Seeing that events could be a way of attracting even more visitors to Tulleys, Stuart initially used these as a way of driving up footfall to the farm shop. However as the seasonal events business developed he was quick to see further potential in it. He is a pioneer of the UK Halloween industry, having developed a small pumpkin festival at Tulleys into Shocktober Fest, one of the UK’s biggest and most popular Halloween attractions. He was also among the first in the UK to open a Maize Maze, which transformed the farm’s quieter summer holiday season from 1998 onwards.
Tulleys continues to innovate, and Stuart remains the creative force behind the business. With broad experience and knowledge that not only comes from the success he has had, but also from the many challenges he has faced along the way, he is extremely well placed to assist others in the advancement of their own businesses. He has powerful insight into management, marketing and team building, and beyond that into human nature and psychology. He is proud to be closely connected with the best retail, catering, customer service and creative brains in the Agri-Tourism industry, and is passionate in his belief that growing people and sharing knowledge are key to business success.