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Rent hike forces florists to shut up shop after 65 years
A FLOWER shop in Westbourne, which has been open for more than 65 years, will close its doors for the final time this Sunday.
Mel Smith, who owns Ena’s Florists, on Seamoor Road, says that the rent and rates have become too high for her to afford to stay in business.
She is now looking into other lines of work, after running Ena’s for more than five years, and the shop will stay on the market awaiting new ownership.
Mel, who is also president of Westbourne Traders’ Association, said: “It was started by two ladies, both named Ena, in Westbourne arcade, and then when they had an argument, it moved to where it is now.”
She added: “It wasn’t on the market when I bought it, but I’d looked at shops in Poole and Devon and Cornwall, after moving from London, and nowhere quite appealed as much.
“I thought that it was modern, bright and breezy, and I loved it in Westbourne.
“It’s been an experience running Ena’s, but also quite challenging, so I would love for it to stay as a florists, but we shall have to wait and see.
“I’ve learnt an awful lot in my time here, but now it’s exciting to see what happens next.”
Cllr Barry Goldbart, ward councillor for Westbourne and West Cliff, said: “I’m really sorry to hear that Ena’s is closing. It is a very professional company and will be greatly missed in the area.
“There is no doubt that we’re in a really difficult financial time in this country and some businesses seem to be able to survive and some don’t.
“But there have been lots of new businesses that have opened in and around Westbourne recently so I don’t think this is indicative of a major problem in Westbourne.”