The Cutting Garden Story
2019 was a landmark year for The Cutting Garden, mainly because of another landmark from the past. It was 35 years ago that The Cutting Garden was started by Mr Bernard Roper and opened for business on 12 November 1984. That was the day that we took over premises from a ladies clothing shop, The Feminine Touch. Today, The Cutting Garden is itself a Plymouth landmark as one of the longest-running salons in the city.
To commemorate the occasion, we decided to dig into our archives, talk to a few friends of the salon and reveal the Cutting Garden Story.
In the Beginning
Sadly we have been unable to locate a photograph of the interior or exterior of The Cutting Garden in its opening year (if you have one, please get in touch) but we do have a picture of No 29 as The Feminine Touch and the opticians shop on the right, which is still our neighbour here. The shop front was much the same as in the photograph except for the signage. We are told that the interior had a very dark green ceiling (some say it looked black) with crème coloured walls and there were significant numbers of potted plants in the salon.
At this stage the upstairs windows were considerably smaller than now and with dark ceilings the light levels must have been somewhat restricted.
A Reputation for Good Service, Good Hair, Good Value
Under Bernard’s guidance The Cutting Garden developed a reputation for good service, good hair and good value. We have a copy of a newspaper advert for The Cutting Garden in their first year of trading showing a selection of prices for hair services. Yes, the prices have risen in 35 years but we’re happy to see that it’s only in line with increased costs.
The Cutting Garden still prides itself on continuing to maintain those values and standards today and always seek to improve where we can.
The Second Stage of The Cutting Garden
In 2007 Mr Roper sold The Cutting Garden to Graham and Katherine Bates who extensively remodelled the salon. They made the upstairs window much larger to allow in more light, replaced all the seating and stations both on the ground floor and first floor. Ducted air conditioning was installed on both floors and the shop front was altered, together with a revised Reception desk and seating area for waiting clients. This format remained whilst under Katherine’s ownership.
In 2015 Katherine decided that with an upcoming move to the Midlands and a change of career, coupled with the lease coming to an end, it was time to sell the salon.
The Salon Today
The current owners acquired the salon on March 30th 2015 and fortunately the staff and stylists decided to stay, so business carried on as usual. Some things have been updated, new branding was designed and updated signage for the shop front was installed. A change of colour scheme was applied plus a new tint bar was installed on the first floor. The new owners preserved all the features that our clients said they love. They also introduced the very popular Nail Bar upstairs. Ultimately our clients judge how well we are doing but so far so good, as we all strive to maintain The Cutting Garden’s values and high standards, always seeking to improve wherever possible.
The Celebration November 1st 2019
On the evening of November 1st The Cutting Garden invited staff, stylists and longstanding clients to a 35th Anniversary celebration. Some of these clients have been with the salon for over 30 years and to see so many attend the anniversary on a cold, wet winter’s evening was a reward in itself for us. As well as an extensive buffet, a large birthday cake, prize draw, raffle and special offers on products, our stylists were offering free wash and blow dries to clients, which proved very popular. The party also acted as a fund raiser for the male mental health charity CALM and with the raffle plus donations we raised over £400.
The Cutting Garden would like to thank all those concerned for their time and generosity for this fundraising, We would also like to thank PH Group UK Ltd and Phab Wholesale Ltd (our suppliers) for their much appreciated contributions to the raffle prizes and special offers.