‘We’re like a family’ – florist staff mark 60 years in town

The Bouleveard Florists team with original owner Pat Patterson (centre)
The Bouleveard Florists team with original owner Pat Patterson (centre)

One of Crawley’s oldest town centre shops is celebrating 60 years of trading.

Bouleveard Florists was opened by Pat Patterson, who has just celebrated her 90th birthday.

A ‘special moment’ for the shop was presenting Princess Anne with flowers at the South of England Show in Ardingly in 2014.

The family business is now run by Mrs Patterson’s daughter Charlie and longstanding employee Sally Mills.

Sally, 51, of Millthorpe Road, Horsham, has worked at the florist for 35 years.

She said: “Mrs Patterson was brilliant to work for. I started working there full-time as soon as I left school. At only 16, it was hard work!

“It is a lovely sort of job. We have regular customers who we have grown up with. Every day is different.

“I could not imagine working anywhere else. I was also proud to be able to take it over from Mrs Patterson.

“It is amazing to think that Mrs Patterson once did deliveries on her push bike and how much it has changed over the years.”

To celebrate the milestone, the florist has created a special shop front window and an in-store promotion for customers.

Julie Creasey, 47, of Woodlands Close, Crawley Down, has worked at the florist for 30 years.

She said: “Most of the staff have worked here for over 18 years. I have grown up with the shop, I started working here at 17.

“I could not imagine working anywhere else. It is a real pleasure to come to work. We are like a big family even though we are not related.

“We all get on very well and I think that’s why we have stayed so long here. We have our regular customers too who have been coming for years.”

“We presented Princess Anne with flowers in 2014 – this was a special moment and quite a thing for us!”

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