A popular florist is looking forward to a bloomin’ good retirement after deciding to call it a day at her shop.
Caroline Lee, of Stanley, has run two shops in South Ossett for 30 years.
She owned the Fruit Box on Storrs Hill Road before relocating and opening Caroline’s Flower Shop on Horbury Road. Mrs Lee said her decision to retire had not been taken lightly but she was ready to leave at the end of the month.
She said: “I have loved my job and I have made some really good friends. Over the years I have done their weddings and now we are doing their children’s weddings. I want to thank all my customers who have really supported us.”
Mrs Lee borrowed £3,000 from her father to set up the Fruit Box in 1986.
And after running the business for 10 years, she decided to take over a former video shop on Horbury Road and open Caroline’s Flower Shop.
Mrs Lee said: “I did not have a very good education so when I got the money someone told me there was a space in Ossett. I did not know where it was but the people took me on board straight away.”
Mrs Lee works at Caroline’s Flower Shop alongside her staff Sharon Tinker and Barbara Hirst, who will both continue to work there.
And she said one the highlights of working in the town was getting to know members of the community.
Mrs Lee said: “People have been so lovely over the years and we have a great customer base. They have become my friends and we have shared some happy and sad times together. I have watched their children grow up and it was so nice to be a part of important times in their lives.”
Mrs Lee will leave her role on Monday, January 25, and Faye Salisbury will become the new owner.
The pair met when Mrs Salisbury was working at a wholesale market in 2010.
Mrs Salisbury, 29, said: “I worked with Caroline and we built up a good relationship. Caroline and the team have been fantastic to work with.
“When we get busy during certain points in the year, Caroline has said she’ll come back to give us an extra pair of hands, which is great.”
Mrs Lee said: “I hope the customers will continue to support the shop and I am sure Faye will do a great job.”