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Florist forced to close after five years amid cost of living crisis

A popular florist has taken the heart-breaking decision to close her shop amid the cost of living crisis.

Lavenders Grey Florist, in Westbury Park, Newcastle-under-Lyme, has shut with the business moving to online only.

Owner Teresa Sinaguglia has run the store for five years. However, the 27-year-old said external factors such as rising costs and Brexit have forced her to leave the Westbury Road shop.

Teresa thanked her customers and stressed that the shop's quality produce would still be available online. Teresa, from Bucknall, said: "The decision was made within the current climate. Everything was going up, electricity, stock, cards, all the costs of the sale. They just went up too much.

"When the cost of everything goes up, I was unable to pass the price on. I was trying to take the hit myself. But there have been other issues, like with fresh flowers, Brexit, which has caused an issue with the ports. We have been short of funerals as funeral directors have started offering their own services and can swoop straight in. Supermarkets, all of them, sell their own flowers now. If you look at the price, people now see flowers as a luxury.

"I am a florist who is known for quality. I analyse all of my own stock. My hard work has paid off and people know and use our service for everything. But it was about a month and a half ago that we made the final decision. There had been a couple of months of weighing things up."

Teresa has been a florist for 12 years but has been training since she was 12 years old. She said she was sad to leave the shop behind.

She added: "I am sad and stressed and tired. Closing the shop was a last resort. The main thing with the shop was the interaction. Closing the shop, I am losing that. People would come in for the chat and they are going to be so sad. I love talking to people. We'll always have time for people who come in.

"The lease was up yesterday but the landlord has let us stay just to get the last bits out. We're looking to work from home for a bit before finding an office to rent as a studio. We are uncertain, and we don't know what happens next."

Despite the challenging times, Teresa wants to expand her business in other areas. She added: "One upside is that we are looking at doing more classes so that's new. So that's one thing we're looking forward to. So many independent florists are struggling at the moment. I want to stress we are still going online."


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