Stalks and Stems, Florist and Greengrocers
Kazeena Kahn is a trained florist and her husband Ali is a greengrocer by trade, so the combination of business made perfect sense when they started in 2001. Over the years, Stalks and Stems have added healthy food lines and now stock a wide range of organic, gluten, wheat and dairy free products as well other wholefoods and drinks such as kale juice and green teas. Creating quite a unique offering in the area with the healthy food range and a loyal following, Kazeena opened a second store in Glasgow’s west end in March 2016 called Stalks and Stems Wholefood.
Kazeena took her first business cash advance in early 2014 after her bank said they couldn’t help with funding to buy additional stock, even though it meant she could get bigger discounts from her suppliers by buying in bulk. She has since had a further five cash advances to grow her business and fund her new shop including buying a new van and fitting out the new premises.
Says Kazeena, “I was shocked when the bank refused to help, given they had been supportive previously. They also dropped the limit on our charge card, so accessing short term cash was difficult. It didn’t make sense; we’re a healthy business.”
Kazeena considered asking family for the funds, but after seeing some adverts about Liberis, thought she’d give it a go.
"To be honest, I did have my doubts, but it has worked out so positively for us. You pay back only as you earn and aren’t committed to a monthly payment on a fixed date. We’ve paid each advance back within a few months, enabling us to access more cash easily and quickly when we need it. We certainly wouldn’t have been able to expand the business without Liberis.
“Ironically, the bank has been in touch lately and are now willing to help us, but I’d rather do business with Liberis.”
Although business is very good, the fall in the value of the pound against the euro has had an effect on the business. Ninety percent of its flower stock comes from Holland and some veg and wholefoods also come from abroad, resulting in a 10-20% increase in the cost of stock. “This is obviously quite worrying", says Kazeena, "but we know that Liberis is there to provide support should we need it.”