Shop Days #2: The Florist

One of an occasional series where we get to see what it’s like being behind the counter for a day…
Today we meet the owners of The Flower Shop in Peckham. Brenda’s been in the trade for well over 20 years: daughter Carly, on the left, took over officially a couple of years ago.

Your day starts: We go to market two days a week, and that means starting anything between 3-6am. But we don’t open til 9.30am, as this is one sleepy neighbourhood.
What do you eat: We eat mostly on the hoof. Usually we bring something from home – but Peckham has a huge range of ready food options. The staff at Greggs know us quite well.
Best bits of the job: Arranging flowers IS an art, and the joy of presenting something to a customer that takes their breath away gives us a real buzz.
Worst bits of the job: Customers do give us a lot of aggro. But the worst part of running a flower shop is those winter mornings, when you are handling wet flowers and buckets of water, and your hands just freeze.
If you knew 20 years ago what you know now, would you still go into the trade? I would like to think so. But…..maybe not.
Your day ends: 5-5.30, although we might stay a bit later on Fridays/Saturdays if there are a lot of jobs on. We open 6 days a week, but obviously things like Mothering Sunday and Valentines Day see us opening on Sunday as well.
Back room secret: Well we haven’t got room for the luxury of a back room. But I guess our secret is that we are never entirely alone here. We have at least one, and sometimes two, ferocious guard cats living here. Actually, it’s their shop. We just work here. 🙂
Tell us a trick of the trade… Flowers do need conditioning. You need to strip out some of the foliage, trim the stems, change the water several times a week, talk to them…

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