Forty years ago Elizabeth Morris wanted a small tunnel house for her garden. Her husband Gordon went about making one for her. Fast forward to 2020 and the couple have now sold more than 10,000 of them.
Not bad for the keen gardeners from Otatara.
Son Allister and wife Leanne now run Morrifield Tunnel Houses but Gordon still works there most days.
Leanne said sales have “skyrocketed” since Covid-19 and they have been extremely lucky that business has remained strong.
Manufacturing every piece of material from scratch was their point of difference, because of course, there would always be cheaper Chinese models that looked similar – but weren’t.
“Our covers are prefabricated and we know that they will last a long time,” she said.
A long time meant seven to 10 years, but they also sold a polycarbonate model that was more superior, being super strong and durable.
Leanne said what also separated them apart from their competitors was they were all actually keen gardeners – which helped when you were building a product for people’s backyards.
And it looks like they will keep on growing too, now that the Government has relaxed restrictions on some building permits – meaning they will soon be able to make even bigger tunnel houses for the commercial market.
Morrifield Tunnel Houses have been sold all over the country in the past 40 years, and they even offer an installation service, but they were easy to assemble and also provided a how-to-video.
“We certainly won’t change our design if we know it works,” Leanne said.