The florist keeps Victoria in bloom for 110 years! – News from Victoria
When Mary Ann Brown opened the doors to her greenhouse and flower shop, she could not have known that her legacy would still bloom more than a century later.
Victoria is so happy that it is!
With three locations – on Fort St. Victoria, Beacon Ave. in Sidney and Jacklin Rd. in Langford – the iconic Brown’s The Florist has been an integral part of the local floral industry for generations.
Independently run and locally owned, the business was started by Brown, a British immigrant who arrived in Esquimalt in 1870 and founded Fairview Esquimalt Greenhouse. The shrewd businesswoman expanded the business to include three downtown florists who quickly gained a reputation for beauty and taste.
The business was eventually purchased by Brown Brothers Ltd. of Vancouver in 1912 and saw few changes in ownership, name and location over the decades, until it was purchased by current owner Natasha Crawford in 2007.
Crawford and her team – who have over 365 years of collective floral experience – continue to uphold the Mary Brown motto of “doing more than just meet the needs of the customer”.
“Brown’s The Florist is there for its customers through all of the tough times, the joyous times, and all of life’s major milestones and celebrations,” says Katherine Olmstead, Brown’s director of marketing and senior floral designer. “We help people celebrate, cry, stay connected, and ultimately deliver a message that words alone can’t.”
The team recently completed major renovations at the Fort St. location – they operated from a pop-up store just around the corner until it reopened on October 4 – and they would like to express their gratitude to everyone involved.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this great project,” says Olmstead. “We would like to thank our customers for asking us and for finding our little pop-up store!
“This renovation has really opened up the store to our customers – you’ll find there’s a lot more space to explore.”
While the look may be new to Brown’s on Fort Street, the values remain the same as so many years ago under Mary Ann Brown. In fact, “More” seems to be the goal for the women at Brown’s – more community involvement, more customer focus, more dedication to providing local products.
Over 80% of the flowers and plants they carry are locally grown and sourced from the mainland or island, and all the flowers they carry from overseas are sourced only from fair trade growers. They deliver their products to the Greater Victoria area, Langford, Sidney and some of the Gulf Islands.
“We are very proud to celebrate 110 years as a local Victorian business,” says Olmstead. “And we want to thank our customers for staying loyal for generations!”
Check out more on Facebook and Instagram before heading downtown to check out the newly refreshed boutique at 757 Fort St.
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