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Florist closes down because 'people buy cheap supermarket flowers'

PUBLISHED: 11:13 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:39 24 December 2019

Natalie Marshall, who is closing her florist business. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.

Natalie Marshall, who is closing her florist business. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.

A florist is closing her business blaming the fact that people buy cheap flowers from supermarkets and garages as the reason.

Some of Natalie Marshall's beautiful flowers. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.Some of Natalie Marshall's beautiful flowers. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.

Natalie Marshall opened Flowers at the Forge in Horstead, just outside Coltishall, in 2016 but is now starting a new job as an area sales manager because she can't make the floristry firm work.

She said despite loving running her own business, there was no money in it. "It's a flowers from Tesco or Interflora once a year attitude and therefore, no profit.

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Flowers at the Forge, Horstead, near Coltishall, is closing down. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.Flowers at the Forge, Horstead, near Coltishall, is closing down. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.

"Three years without a wage is enough. I loved the creativity and choosing the best materials I could but the local mindset does not see that. It's a shame but a healthy wage will make me feel better."

Mrs Marshall, who's just started a new job with London-based Billboard Media, previously worked as a fundraising manager for Macmillan cancer support and NANSA, the Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association. She started running her florists from a small unit off the main road in Horstead supplying some locally grown flowers and greenery for all occasions, which she delivered herself.

The mum particularly specialised in wedding flowers and proved extremely popular with one bride stating on social media: 'The flowers she put together were truly stunning. We asked for flowers with colour and she delivered...the church was alive with colour and everyone who saw the bouquet said how beautiful they looked.'

Natalie Marshall. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.flowersNatalie Marshall. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.flowers

But Mrs Marshall, also ran workshops helping people to create their own bouquets and Christmas wreaths, finally decided she could no longer keep the business going.

With cheap flowers readily available from garages and supermarkets, the nature of the business has changed. Two sisters who run a flower firm in Swaffham recently announced they were closing their high street shop to expand the business without a physical store open to the public.

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Michelle Boon and Megan Thaxton, known as Swaffham and Fakenham Florist, are closing in the Market Place, Swaffham and rebranding as Floral Sistas. The business is expanding - but with no need for a shop anymore.

Some of Natalie Marshall's beautiful flowers. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.Some of Natalie Marshall's beautiful flowers. Pic: Flowers at the Forge.

However, in Holt town centre, a new florists moved in to the high street earlier this year. Penny Nicholas, who ran Crown House Flowers from her home near Norwich, opened her first shop in Market Place, which offers new varieties of flowers.

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