When Gertrude Stein penned her famous phrase “a rose is a rose is a rose,” it's doubtful that she had in mind how long it would last in a vase once removed from the garden. However, the lifespan of a bouquet is often top of mind for the folks who work at Flowers by Merle. Since its start in the 1960s, the store has been one of the first names in flowers in Edmonton.
“There are lots of designs you can create with a floral arrangement, but we want to focus on the quality of the arrangement for our customers,” says Howard Worrell, who's owned Flowers by Merle since purchasing it in 2013. “It's nice to make something avant-garde, but if it doesn't last, the customer will forget that it was avant-garde, but will remember that the thing died.”
Howard, who has no background in the floral industry, purchased the company largely because of its history and reputation for high-quality arrangements. He placed his faith in a dedicated staff, many of whom have been with Flowers by Merle for more than 20 years. It's that expertise that has kept the company front and centre; it's often the choice of major businesses to provide flowers at such high-profile events as the Mayor's Luncheon, the Canadian Derby and the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Telus World of Science.