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Mixing flora and French fancies wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but a budding businesswoman has done just that and her unique new outlet on Main Street has been going down a treat since it opened last week.
When Lorraine McFarlane suggested running a coffee and cake shop in the same premises as her thriving flower empire, her friends and family thought she had lost the plot.
However, Fresh Connection has opened a whole new, and very accessible, door to consumers looking for a new shopping experience.
‘When I decided to move into the new premises I saw all this space and started wondering what I could do with it,’ she told us.
‘Originally I saw it as two separate shops but I have always had this idea of selling coffee and cakes along with gifts, cards, flowers and so on as one big package.
‘Getting people on board with it was another thing, though. I could visualise it but I couldn’t quite get it over to others and I ended up saying to people just wait until you see it.
‘To be honest, I wasn’t 100 per cent sure how it was going to work, I just knew I wanted to try it.’
Since she opened, however, the mother of two hasn’t heard one negative comment and the multi-faceted flower shop has been experiencing a real sweet smell of success.
‘It was so busy the first week we were open and it was great to see people meeting up and chatting while getting their coffee.
‘Wheelchairs can get in now and people with prams and it has turned into a bit of a hub.’
Originally a greengrocer, Fresh Connection has been trading for 29 years on November 1 and Lorraine has been at the helm for the past 14 of them.
‘When I took over it was just veg and flowers,’ she explained. ‘I added in some cards and gifts and it has just really grown since then.’
Also working in Fresh Connection are full-time florist Hayley Baxter along with Fiona McEachran and Emma McKinven who work in the shop part-time.