Having grown up in a rural farming community, Balliram Beharry knew he could do more with the flora he loved. He pursued a Diploma in Agriculture at the Eastern Caribbean of Institute of Agriculture and Forestry after secondary school. He then worked as an Extension Officer with the government. After noticing a gap in the market in the Chaguanas area where he lived in, 35 years ago, Balliram began conceptualising a landscaping business and garden centre where he would sell plants for residential use.
‘’I focused on part-time garden maintenance projects in the areas of Lange Park and Orchard Gardens. I quickly realised that landscaping began to fascinate me. To satisfy my clients interest, I conceptualised the idea of providing the full package, which included growing plants, designing, installing and maintaining gardens. This seemed to be an ideal combination. Teaming up with my wife Chandra, I looked at the numerous ways I could also open a garden centre. I began improving as I went along, but I knew I could use my knowledge in agriculture to develop the business.’’
Fast forward to 2018, and Centrascape continues to flourish as one of the only companies in Trinidad and Tobago to provide plants from their own plant nursery for their unique garden design and installation projects. Dr. Nesha Beharry-Borg, Beharry’s daughter, seemed to have always been a part of the business, as her father admitted, “Nesha, who was about nine at the time, grew her own plants and then sold them to me.” Nesha, whose education focuses on Agricultural Business Management, Natural Resource Management and Environment Economics (in which she holds a PhD), signed on as a director to manage the company’s vast growth.
While Balliram has been applying his expert knowledge in a practical way for years, often spending many of those years experimenting with plants and soil variations to discern what works and what doesn’t, Nesha has been studying the theoretical aspects of an agri-business as well. In many ways, both father and daughter are the ideal team as they complement both the practical and theoretical aspects to their business.
As she explained, “We are going towards more modern designs for an even larger audience.” To be more exact, Centrascape offers clients, be they large commercial projects or smaller residential ones, a top-down service. Since they grow their own plants according to their own specifications and needs, the services they provide are all in-house. Another unique aspect is the garden design installation after the consultation process. This is where both directors work in tandem to provide a harmonious end-product. Balliram, who understands the layout of a space on an intellectual level, works with Nesha to ensure efficient time management and customer satisfaction.
Considering the level of expertise as well, Balliram is well versed in horticulture to understand the various issues and practical solutions with ease. While both Balliram and Nesha stress their business is firstly visual, they add that they’re also in it for the love.
“I love what I do.” Balliram admits a few times during the interview.
Where Centrascape continues to stand out is the level of care they take towards the consulting process, the conceptual design, choosing the right plants for the particular garden space, as well as the client themselves. As both Balliram and Nesha said, their clients are the most important aspect of their business. “We have clients who have been with us for years. Like some of our staff, they have grown with us. We offer our clients up to six months of after-care, in which they choose to continue with us, or maintain their gardens on their own.”
Address: Mid Center Mall, Chaguanas, Trinidad
Tel (mobile): +1 868 789 9696
Tel (landline): +1 868 671 0258