Joy and Frank Bristol started our journey in horticulture in 1980. Initially vegetable growing and then started a nursery growing vegetable plants and flowers in 1988. We also bred and produced a wide range of vegetable seeds from 1995.
Initially we became interested in seed production because of seed quality issues affecting the nursery operations. As a result we began producing seed for companies within New Zealand and overseas.
Joy developed the nursery and her love of colour and flowers saw us branch out into the hanging basket design which saw Bristol Plants & Seeds become synonymous with Whanganui's annual "Whanganui in Bloom" festival. Some years we grew up to 2,000 baskets. We grew the hanging baskets for "Whanganui in Bloom" for 26 years before deciding to give the contracts back to Whanganui's Mainstreet in 2017.
The heritage tomato seed research started when Mark Christensen approached us to work with him to research the nutritional benefits of heritage tomatoes.
Very sadly Joy passed away at the end of 2017 and the family have continued her work.
Currently the operation, now trading as Bristol Produce, is growing and distributing heirloom tomato seed, and growing apples and producing a delicious apple juice and apple cider vinegar from a high health heritage apple tree called "Monty's Surprise". The greenhouses are now producing chillies for a company called Tres Hombres Ltd that makes hot sauce. Frank is an active shareholder in the hot sauce company.