Suffolk flower shop to shut after half a century
PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 June 2019
After almost 50 years of trading, Edelweiss florists is quitting Stowmarket town centre.
The florists run by Isobel Wilson has been a fixture in the heart of the town in Market Place, operating from two different premises.
In recent years she has been assisted by daughter Louise Bavington Lowe, who joined her temporarily as a teenager, and stayed on.
Mrs Wilson said: "I am sad that we have left Stowmarket. It has been wonderful. We have had huge support from our customers over the years. Without customers we would not have a business.
"We are hugely grateful for their support. Town centres, including Stowmarket are changing.
"It would have been 50 years since we opened this December. When I started the only place you could buy flowers was a flower shop. It was very different.
"It has changed enormously over the years. There are less people coming into town centres - and you can buy flowers anywhere."
She has also taught floristry and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show for 25 years.
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As a schoolgirl in East Bergholt she loved flowers and entered the village flower arranging competitions against adult gardeners.
"My first job was at a flower shop in Ipswich, as a 13-year-old Saturday girl. Afterwards I had a job in Colchester.
"After Ipswich High School I went to London to study for my Constance Spry diploma."
She had been working for Notcutts in Woodbridge for five years when a friend suggested she might take on a flower shop in Stowmarket.
"I opened with a bank loan, sold my precious Triumph Spitfire and bought a van."
The shop was a landmark business at the crossroads in Stowmarket and in the news, for unfortunate reasons, when a bus crashed into it in 2014. It had to move out.
"For 10 months we moved to the gift shop. But it was hugely damaging for us. It took three years before they finally paid up."
In recent times a lot of the shop's business is via the website or phone, she said, which they would continue to serve from a studio now.
She added: "The name was my mother's idea. The Sound of Music was out then, and we liked the lyrics - Every Morning You Greet Me."