Tuff Top Estates - About Us
Bloemfontein Events & Wedding Venue - Our Story
This land was purchased in 1996 by us, Oliver and Diana Carey, who at the time lived up the road from where Tuff Top Estates is currently located. We had already started the instant lawn business on that property. We then bought a few smaller plots down the road where we planted more instant lawn. These plots were commonly known as 'Veepos' by the staff as they used to come over by tractor for the day, from our original lawn farm. The idea was to eventually build a house down by the river at 'Veepos'. On our regular trips to Veepos we would drive past this property and always knew that to ever attain it would be beyond a dream come true as we understood the property belonged to lawyers who would never sell.
A Great Idea & Hard Work?
Well, one day driving to Veepos, Diana saw a 'For Sale' sign which she immediately removed, rushed home and phoned Oliver, who at the time worked for Murray and Roberts Construction. We had the land in the bag by lunchtime, with thankful help from Nedbank. To be able to pump water from the river onto the lands, we had to get electricity from the main road to the river which was over 600m away. This was a huge expense and we were rather poor at the time. Fortunately, Diana was left an amount of money from her grandmother, who unfortunately passed away at the time, just enough for the overhead power line to the river!
This new land was just dry cracked veld, strewn with rocks, rubbish, lots of ants, and an old windmill. We planted the land, section by section with lawn as our finances allowed us to. We had our house in the market for quite some time, but with no takers. Because of the shortage of money, we had to sell our house first before we could start to build our house here.
A River House Was Born
Eventually in 2000 a young man offered us a below market value for our house, which we had to accept, just so we could build our dream house by the river. Well, he wanted to move in as soon as possible, this leaving us nowhere to go - to rent a house in town was out of the question for us. Fortunately, Murray and Roberts had a 'park home' container in their yard which they borrowed to us. this was wonderful however we also had to lay a municipal water line and electricity to the site where we would park it. So, we had to lay a pipe line from the main road to the site, all this very strenuous on our already stretched budget.
Prior to moving here, we often came here for picnics, and it was always such an operation to load the braai and the chairs etc., Then we decided to build a store room and toilet by the river. The ever-big thinker, Oliver, then built a storeroom, two toilets and two showers and a big veranda. The present Lapa at the river is still the same.
Anyway, we towed the park home here with our old Land Cruiser one Saturday afternoon - what a sight, and parked it under the trees near the end of the present koi pond. Here we lived very happily, using the Lapa as our lounge and dining room, while we made plans to build the house.
Oliver had bought a steel structure which we planned to erect and build two rooms in which to live. However, as we were living comfortably in the 'park home', we started building the house instead. On 9 March 2001, we moved into the new house.
A Realized Dream
We then finished building the first set of guest rooms.
One of the rooms was just a dining room and living room and another was used as our office, but as the demand grew greater we built bathrooms in the dining room and office and turned them into guest rooms and constructed a office adjacent to the shed.
This office was previously a welded mesh camp which housed our small flock of sheep at night.
Oliver left Murray and Roberts in 2002 to help with the lawn business, but as it was already established, he started breeding Koi Fish.
We have loved creating the garden and koi ponds and we hope you will join us in our 'stukkie hemel'.
Diana and Oliver Carey.
A new generation
Our son, Richard, returned to Tuff Top in 2015 after completing his studies as a Mechanical Engineer and working in the mining and machinery industry for a couple of years. Because of growing up in the industry, he developed a great passion for the propagation of instant lawn. His vision was to produce the best quality grass and to bring Tuff Top Lawns to a new level.
After gaining the popularity of clients across the country he started a process of mechanisation to improve the level of service. In the meantime, he married his high school sweetheart, Madel, in 2017. She immediately got involved in the business and soon they became a formidable team. They are now proud parents of two beautiful little girls who loves Tuff Top just as much as they do. The business has grown into a busy operation with Richard and Madel ahead of the wheel. They are a friendly, lively couple, who’s main goal is to bring the very best service to their clients.
Richard & Madel Carey