Flowers make a high street. Just look at the impact Bradford BID’s 158 hanging baskets has on the character and feel of the city centre.
And if flowers lift a street, then a flower shop is the icing on the cake, the bride’s bouquet.
Bradford BID’s Trader of the Week, Blooms on Market Street, nestles so perfectly into its corner of the magnificent Wool Exchange that it looks as if it has always been there.
And yet this delightful business has been open just six months, starting life a mere two days before the pandemic brought retail life largely to a standstill.
Blooms was launched, with the help of Bradford-based Withernsea Investments, by Ann Fawcett, an independent qualified florist who previously operated a small flower shop in Cullingworth which served the local area for some years.
“We chose the former La Fronda/Thornton chocolate shop on Market Street as the ideal location because of its high passing footfall and proximity to the major shops and public transport,” says Ann.
“We wanted to provide Bradford with a well-designed, well-positioned, slightly up-market florists, rather than the traditional style of shop historically found in Bradford and the surrounding areas.
“It is a special place to visit with a variety of products on offer from beautiful bouquets, with incredible house plants and vases through to wedding, funeral and event flowers.
“We even make our own soy-based luxury candles, wax melts and more.”
Blooms specialises in floral arrangements for corporate offices, receptions, weddings, funerals, the home “and beyond!”
Ann says: “Since we opened we have had to deal with COVID-19 but we were able to take our store online and that really helped us as customers were ordering right the way through lockdown, for everything from sympathy flowers to birthdays!”
One highlight of the summer was when they supplied Bradford BID with the white roses they handed out free to city centre visitors on Yorkshire Day, August 1.
“We were really pleased to be able to support Bradford BID with their white roses for Yorkshire Day – it was such a great thing to be a part of!” says Ann.
Blooms has taken every care to ensure it is safe for customers. In line with the regulations, they keep customer store numbers to a minimum, “which allows us more time with each person that comes in, so we can help then find their ideal arrangement.”
They have a special cleaning schedule in place to help them mitigate any transmission risks that could emanate from the store and, of course, they maintain social distancing at all times.
Ann is clearly thrilled to be greeting customers in person again: “It means the world to us to have re-opened! We managed to survive through lockdown as we were able to partner with some fantastic local businesses and funeral directors who were incredible and referred their customers to us for their needs at this difficult time.
“But we’re so pleased that we can actually get to welcome customers into the store. It’s a great place that we are really proud of and we want to show it off!”
And, as a fledging business, they have been overwhelmed by the welcome they’ve had: “Without the support of the local community we wouldn’t have been able to come back as we have,” say Ann.
“The support we have had, even initially as we had only just opened two days before lockdown was imposed, was fantastic; we had customers coming to us from all over the city.
“Large businesses and corporations have vastly greater cash reserves than small businesses like Blooms and without the support of the community it would spell the end for shops like ours as we rely on the residents of Bradford for our trade.”
Blooms on Market Street, 24 Market Street, Bradford. Tel: (01274) 370881; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: bloomsbradford.co.uk; Facebook @BloomsOnMarketStreet; Instagram @bloomsonmarketstreet