Future rosy for family florist that served the Queen
IT IS a business that can count the Queen and an international sports star among its customers.
Glenholme Florists, of Beverley, received a personal letter of thanks from Her Majesty for the flowers created for her visit to the town in 2002.
Staff also had fun coming up with some striking designs when an England footballer married locally, although they have declined to name him.
And when rom- antics visit today to buy their Valentine's Day bouquets, they will not only be following in the footsteps of famous names, but continuing a tradition dating back 55 years.
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The business was founded in 1958 by Dennis Glenton as a nursery growing and selling flowers and opened on February 13 – in time for one of the most lucrative days of the year.
A fruit and florist store followed later, opening in its existing location in Wilbert Lane.
Florist Rosaleen Holgate then joined as business partner, expanding this side of trading with such success, there was no longer room for the fruit and vegetable element.
Now Rosaleen's two daughters, Karen Holgate and Claire Anderson, work together to continue its running.
Karen said: "One of the reasons the business is succeeding in difficult retail times is its ability to continually evolve and develop.
"You can't afford to rest on your laurels in any retail business but particularly floristry which is very fashion-led with new styles and trends emerging all the time.
"Our customers want to see modern designs and keep up-to-date with the latest interior designs and our flowers need to reflect this, which is why we invest a lot in training and development."
The sisters have developed their online presence by setting up an e-commerce website enabling sales locally and globally and have embraced social media to help them stand out.
Claire said: "The business is very diverse with no two days alike, making each day an exciting challenge.
"We have the great pleasure of being with our customers through the happiest and saddest parts of their lives.
"We celebrate with flowers the births, christenings, weddings and funerals in our lives and over the years we have been trading, we have had a plethora of customers we have got to know and love and been part of the ups and downs in their lives."
Although Karen and Claire say wedding designs offer the most fun and excitement for their team, it is funeral flowers from which they gain the most satisfaction.
Karen said: "Designing flowers for a funeral is very personal and incredibly important to the family.
"This is the final gesture they will make for their loved ones and we are frequently asked to create designs that reflect the deceased's personality or interests and it's so important we get this right.
"We have created sprays to reflect the natural beauty of Beverley Westwood and bespoke two or three dimensional designs that have included dogs, a rabbit, mountain bikes and a chef's hat to mention but a few."
The shop features in the current Good Florist Guide and has won a number of awards, including UK Retail Florist of the Year – accolades the siblings believe reflect the hard work and passion they hope will help them bloom in the future.
"We treat every sale, large or small, the same with attention to detail and a genuine interest in our customer, after all, it's they who have kept us here for the past 55 years and we intend to continue it for a long time to come," said Claire.