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Wilma's Flower World: Edinburgh florist closes after 32 years in the business

Edinburgh Evening News logo Edinburgh Evening News 29/11/2021 Hannah Brown
© Established in 1989, Wilma's Flower World, a mother-and-daughter-run florist in Edinburgh, has decid...

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Owners, Wilma Maccabe and her daughter Lorraine Livingstone of Wilma’s Flower World are shutting down their 1989-established flower business next month despite blooming profits.

Located on 90 Northfield Broadway, the florist has been a staple of the community for more than 30 years.

However, current owner Lorraine has decided it’s “time for a change” as she hopes to hang up her gardening gloves on December 1.

Lorraine, 51, said: “We are not giving up because of a drop in sales at all. If anything, we’ve been busier.

"I’ve just decided I’ve done it for 17 years and I was wanting to work part-time. I’ve also got another profession in education and fitness.

"For the last couple of years, I’ve been getting more involved in that and getting back involved with the community teaching classes and I enjoyed that and I thought I’ve done this and it’s time for a change and now is the time.”

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After being inspired when she started to do floral arts at Portobello town hall, 77-year-old Wilma decided to leave teaching at Hermitage Park School to study at Telford College for two years.

Wilma then took ownership of the Northfield Broadway site and followed her passion by beginning her flower shop business.

Both women have fond memories of their journey with their business with Wilma remembering stories from when the florist began.

Wilma recounted the time a large supermarket chain got its staff to ‘poach’ the florist’s staff and the ‘scandal’ was covered in the Evening News over 20 years ago.

“We also did a wedding in the catholic cathedral and it was quite late and the doors were locked. After an hour, we found a phone and got through to the priest who lived next door and said, ‘Oh I forgot all about you,’ and let us out. That was a laugh.” said Wilma.

With the festive period fast approaching, Wilma also remembers chasing thieves who stole one of her holly wreaths.

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The florist has a strong place in the community but also supplies flowers to people across the world.

Lorraine said local customers have supported them throughout the pandemic and, with people not going out, she said “the phone has never stopped ringing.”

Lorraine said: “There’s not many old school florists left. There's a few but I suppose it is a bit of an end of an era for us.

"It’s a massive decision and it will be sad not to see everybody and all the furry friends as well but onwards and a new wee change for it.”

Both women have been touched by the good luck and well wishes messages and said they are very grateful for the support they have received.

The building will be leased by Lorraine and her mother and while they cannot yet say which business will take over, Lorraine said it won’t be another florist.

Although they will sorely miss the business, it will be the first time the family has not worked through Christmas and Wilma is excited to head ‘up town.’

They are keen to donate surplus stock such as stationery, vases and flowers to any charities in the community.

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