Manchester's All-In-One Garden Centre is mourning the loss of its founder, Dave Stafford.
All-In-One said that Mr Stafford had died peacefully on March 26, aged 71, with his family by his side, after a brave fight against kidney cancer over the last 15 months.
The business, which has a garden centre in Knutsford as well as in Middleton, Manchester, will be closed this afternoon for Mr Stafford's funeral.
Mr Stafford opened the garden centre in 1971 - unusual in those days as most of the early centres developed from market gardens and nurseries. Working with his then wife Beryl, Mr Stafford quickly grew and developed All-In-One into a thriving business.
In 1988 Mr Stafford used his earlier building trade experience in a significant £2m rebuild of the centre.
He was also a former chairman of the Garden Centre Association, and a passionate supporter of the trade body and his colleagues in the trade. He regularly supported the association at regional, national and international level.
Mr Stafford retired from daily duties in the business in 2008 but remained as chairman of the board.
All-In-One said: "His famous straight talking 'northern bloke' and tough but fair persona, along with his approach to life and business, won him the respect of colleagues, suppliers and staff throughout his career and leadership of All-In-One Garden Centre.
"A humble man taken too soon, sadly missed but fondly remembered."