Flowers By Una 25 years on
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Twenty five years ago, Una Barry opened up Flowers By Una at No 25 Lower Cork Street, now 25 years on, she is Una Fitzgerald two doors down and as she looks back over the years, she wants to mark this milestone with her customers and people from the community today (Thursday).
Throughout the day, there will be tea, coffee, cake and wine and she will be holding draws throughout the day, with prizes on offer to give a little something back to all those who have supported her over the years.
Starting out, Una said that her parents Eddie and Mary were and still are a great help, while her siblings Ed, John, Paul, Mag, Maureen and Trish who still occassionally helps out at weekends were always on hand to give her a hand.
She was alone in the shop until she met her husband Tim, and their son Jack, who is ten years old also helps out in the shop.
"They have both been so understanding and patient, when it's busy, I could be gone to work before they are awake and not back until they are in bed."
Some of Una's fondest memories stem from deliveries over the years, of bringing flowers to elderly people for Christmas or Mother's Day from loved ones abroad.
"There was one time when we delivered flowers for Mother's Day over 20 years ago from a daughter in England and the mother wanted to pay us for them.
"Then another time, a woman wanted to send flowers to her daughter in the States, but was worried as she said 'sure wouldn't they be withered by the time they reached her!!
"We've also gone through countless black bags over the years, as men tried to hide their bouquets - the fellows a few years back weren't as brave as the boys today."
Another one of Una's funniest memories is when a big double decker bus came to Mitchelstown promoting Interflora and she wore a bright yellow one piece, as she had been told that every florist in England and Ireland had done it - only to find out later that she had been fooled into it and that she was the only florist who donned the bright traffic stopping rig out.
"Two years ago, we moved to a bigger premises two doors down. We can now offer a bigger range of fresh and silk flowers, plants, bedding plants, pots, containers, balloons and basically everything you need for doing your own arrangement or getting something done up for new babies, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, weddings or just because.
"Weddings are a big part of what we offer, brides can have a one to one consultation after hours or to fit in with the bride's schedule."
Una would like to thank her husband Tim and son Jack for being there to support her, her family, friends and those who have helped her in the shop over the years.
"I would like to thank my many loyal customers, some of whom have since passed to their eternal reward and will never be forgotten and those who today still give me encouragement to keep going in this otherwise difficult climate.
"It is tough and dog eat dog, but as long as we can keep our heads above water and be able to have our health and keep working, we will do our best to keep going for another 25 years."
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