Local business helps Mayo florist

The owner of a flower shop in County Mayo praised another local business, after offering them a space to sell their bouquets.

Aisling de Bláthanna Florists in Claremorris cannot open due to current level five restrictions on essential retail businesses.

But she told Lunchtime Live many large supermarkets have been selling more flowers since Christmas.

“I noticed the huge amount of flowers that supermarkets were getting – since Christmas, or before Christmas, the amount of flowers has increased tremendously.

“It was very frustrating for me to see this when my doors were closed.

“It’s just very frustrating to see them openly selling flowers and we just can’t.

“They also stopped click and collect, and I’m just wondering if supermarkets should just work on click and collect – or if they just had to offer a delivery service – would they sell so many flowers?”

Aisling said she took to Facebook to let her clients know, “This is where it all started, just from a Facebook post.”

She wrote: “Our doors remain closed to the public all the time, yet the larger supermarkets are still open and freely sell floral products.

“Not only that, but they are quadrupling their flower sales orders in the meantime.

“I fully support any successful business and have always believed there is enough business for everyone to share. But only if there are a level playing field ”, she added in the post.

Aisling said the current restrictions were unfair to her and others in her situation.

“Some said everything was fine, but nothing like it [before].

“All of our weddings are gone, our steps are gone – people don’t just come to pick up bouquets, they go to supermarkets.

“We get deliveries and stuff for people who need birthday or anniversary bouquets, but it’s not like it used to be.”

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Aisling’s mother started the store over twenty years ago and took over it a few years ago.

“I would have a lot of things outside of my store, my footfall is huge, I need my footfall to make my store work.

“Click and collect was not too bad, but then we were reduced to simple deliveries.”

James Kean, who runs the local garden center in Keans, reached out to Aisling for help.

“He actually gave me a space in his shop to put my bouquets and stuff.

“So that gave me a lot of publicity, a lot of people didn’t even realize that I was working behind the scenes since the click and collect had stopped.”

“He said he saw the post on Facebook, he said ‘Absolutely come here’ – he made room for me to put all my bouquets.

“So we sold bouquets over there on Easter weekend, it was fantastic, it was absolutely amazing”.

James Kean said he knew how she felt and wanted to help her somehow.

“We saw her posting and we were in that position at that time last year when we had to close our doors, we were only offering click and collect and delivery.

“And in all respects, it has been one of the most stressful times of my life, and for our staff and for my family here.

“So we can fully understand and feel all the small businesses that are in that position right now.

“We actually have a pretty extensive delivery service – but the fact that Aisling doesn’t have it – she has her car and she has a few things at her disposal.

“The kind of things she has are very perishable, I would feel like if we could offer any help in any way I was more than willing to do it.”

James said his store fell into several categories, including food and beverage, pet care, electrical and farm supplies.

“So we felt we could offer him a space there, as the supermarkets were doing it anyway.

“I didn’t see that there was a difference in our doing this.”

Main Image: Bláthanna florists’ stand at Keans in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Photo by: Facebook / Blathanna Fleuristes Claremorris

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