Art & Design Sunday, November 2nd Words by: Mark Bowen, pictures by: Mark Bowen

The Herefordshire Florist

Art & Design Sunday, November 2nd

The Herefordshire Florist

The floral industry is a demanding and challenging business. Early starts, a competitive commercial environment and high customer expectations ensure it is a tough business to survive in. But under the right management it is possible not only to survive but also to thrive. One example of this is Sarah-Jane's Joy of Flowers, a florist based in King Street, Hereford, which is now in its 11th year of business. At it helm is owner Sarah-Jane Thorpe who has been a florist for more than 30 years. As part of Herefordshire Live's #BusinessWeek we dropped in to get her to tell us about her typical day. 

IMG 5948 2

I’m usually in the shop from 7am. Then I usually take a delivery to the funeral directors, then the shop is open from 8.30am in the morning. Clients come in all through the day until we close at 5pm. Then if we need to work later we need to work later.

IMG 5959

We do flowers for all occasions. We do a lot of funerals and sympathy work. We do quite a lot of weddings with churches and marquees. We do general flowers for bouquets for weddings, anniversaries, births and birthdays, engagements, impulse buys we do as well so we cater for everybody whether it be a five pound bench or a 50 pound bench. We don’t say we have a minimum, we say we try to make something nice for everybody.

IMG 5975

The best thing about the job is creating something special. Like a one-off design for individual people because it is not like a supermarket where everything is exactly the same. You can buy a can of baked beans and every label is the same. Everything is made by our qualified florists and they pride themselves on designing something specific for that person so no two things are ever the same, always a bit quirky and a bit different.

IMG 5977There is detail in everything. We pride ourselves in making sure everything is 100% accurate all the time. The sympathy work is the very last thing that family can do for a loved one so it has to be absolutely spot on and the weddings are such a special occasion for the couple you need to make sure it is pristine all the way through and the flowers are exactly what you require.

IMG 5954

To give the flowers an energy boost we use a preservative that goes in the water that just keeps the bacteria down in the water. As long as you have a clean vase and no extra foliage in that vase then your flowers will last for you. Buying a good grade of flower is always a benefit as well because if you buy a second grade flower they are going to go over a lot quicker.

IMG 6012

We do get a few English flowers. But unfortunately most of them are from overseas. They are imported from places like the Netherlands and we get flowers from south Africa, Australia, and Kenya so all over the would but those are the main distribution areas.  

IMG 6024


Do you want to write for Herefordshire Live? Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or say