John Coletta’s family emigrated from the Italian village of Monte Casino in southern Italy to Hull in 1900. John was one of ten and the family opened their first grocery shop in 1911.
John's father Louigi died from bronchitis in 1925, when John was 14. John’s own son Louie joined the family business and increased the number of grocery shops to six. John grew tomatoes, cut chrysanths, bedding plants and other fresh items for those shops in allotments at Golflinks Road, Hull.
During the second world war John worked in the fire service and was awarded the George Medal for his part in saving the William Wilberforce Museum. He donated the medal to the museum were it can still be seen today and the story of his bravery was included in “The Boys’Book of Heroes”.
Brian Tyson was born and bred in East Hull. Brian played for Hull Kingston Rovers throughout the 1960’s and for Great Britain. He played at Wembley in 1964 against Widnes. Brian Tyson married John Coletta’s daughter Barbara in 1962 and began to help his father-in-law on the allotments.
In 1964 at the age of fifty John had expanded from one allotment to over forty. That year the opportunity to buy the original market garden in Woodmansey arose (now the Coletta & Tyson Garden Centre). He purchased the site for the sum of nine thousand pounds.
Brian and Barbara had John in 1964 and Paul in 1967. After a serious knee injury, Brian retired from rugby in the late sixties and went into partnership with John on the market garden.
John Coletta passed away in 2000, whilst Brian Tyson continues to live a full and active life with his family and friends and can still be seen having a coffee and a chat in the business today.
The business owes a huge debt of gratitude for the hard work and sacrifices the founding fathers made, but takes pride that some of those early abiding principles of dedication, honesty, hard work, fairness and equality for all, are ingrained in the current company culture.
- 1940’S – growing on Golflink Road allotments
- 1964 – Woodmansey market garden (now garden centre) purchased
- 1976 – The Springs, land bought to start building second nursery
- 1993 – Low Farm Nursery
- 1995 – Bianca Nursery
- 1996 – Poplar Nursery
- 1997 – Low Farm
- 1999 – Parklands Nursery
- 2002 – Millbeck Nursery
- 2004 – ABU Nursery
- 2005 – Garden Centre (Ltd in 2006)
- 2007 – The Great Flood
- 2013 – Garden Centre Car Park
- 2014 – easyecoplantTM launched