Mary Spoor occasionally catches herself heading towards the old location of the Vernon Flower Shop. After nearly 35 years in the same place, it has been a hard habit to break, she says.
She and husband Jake have operated the business since 1977, and when they decided to sell the old building (it dates back to 1906 when it was the first Baptist church in Vernon) to the city, they had a choice – either find a new location or close up altogether.
With daughter Melinda Jacott, a third-generation florist, ready to take over the company reigns, the Spoors didn’t have far to look for a successor. They also found a new building just metres from the old one, on the corner of 31st Avenue and 30th Street.
The old shop currently serves as head office for the B.C Winter Games committee.
“If it hadn’t been for our daughter wanting to take over, we probably would have closed up,” said Mary. “When the corner became vacant… it’s close enough and people know where we are.
“It’s actually smaller (1,350 square feet), but it’s more usable so it works out really well for us. And because there’s no stairs, we can cater more to people in wheelchairs.
“You walk right in and see flowers. Before you had to walk upstairs before you really saw anything.”
Not quite ready to enter full retirement mode, Mary and Jake plan to stay on and help their daughter and two other staff members run the shop.
“We like to be involved somewhat because it’s a big job,” said Mary, who thanked the community for its continued support over the years.