La Boutique du Parquet lays down an eco-friendly marker with new electric van


Ian Churchman’s new business offers the highest quality natural wood products and is located in the only city in the country with a local authority run by the Green Party. No surprise, then, that he’s just become the proud owner of an eco-friendly Mercedes-Benz van.

The fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eVito ticked every box for Ian, whose latest venture, La Boutique du Parquet, trades from an attractive shop on Church Road in Hove, East Sussex.

The company, whose new van arrived via the Worthing branch of retailer Rossetts Commercials, supplies a wide range of traditional and modern wooden parquet flooring. Its retail customers can be assured of a full ‘turnkey’ service covering everything from initial consultation to design, installation and finishing.

La Boutique du Parquet was established last year. However, Ian has more than a decade of experience in his field, as he also runs its ‘sister’ company Wholesale Wood Flooring, which supplies timber board and related products to the trade.

He said: “Through running Wholesale Wood Flooring I’ve built up a network of suppliers all over Europe and beyond. This means I can source the very best materials, for example working with British sawmills to provide locally grown oak, elm, sweet chestnut and Douglas fir.

“I also know a number of fitters and only choose the very best for La Boutique du Parquet projects. The craftsmen and women who undertake our installations are true artisans who love laying down intricate designs, and appreciate working with the highest quality materials.”

While his business relies on skills and techniques handed down over generations, Ian’s Mercedes-Benz van represents the modern age of emissions-free transportation.

“The eVito’s 92-mile range is more than sufficient for deliveries in and around Brighton and Hove, and the excellent public charging network in the area means it’s always easy to find somewhere to top up the battery if necessary,” he said. “The infrastructure in this part of the world makes operating an electric van a particularly attractive prospect.”

It’s an opinion shared by many local businesses. Recent research commissioned by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK revealed that 90% of the Brighton-based small- to medium-sized enterprises questioned were actively considering a switch to electrification.

“There’s a burgeoning electric vehicle ‘scene’ along this part of the south coast and I’ve already taken the eVito to a couple of weekend meets, where it has generated a lot of interest,” added Ian.

“I believe firmly that we should all be doing everything we can to minimise harm to the environment, and the home-owners that we work for seem to agree,” he said. “I’ve had some very positive feedback about my eVito – customers certainly appreciate our efforts to be as ‘green’ as we can.

“I’ve also driven the eVito into London, where it’s exempt from the £15 daily Congestion Charge. It’s every bit as safe and well put together as you would expect of a Mercedes-Benz and, with a near-silent driveline and no gear changes to worry about, it’s also a real pleasure to drive.”