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After 100 years in Halifax, Dean’s Flowers closes up shop


Dean’s Flowers in north-end Halifax has closed. - Maria Weigl
Dean’s Flowers in north-end Halifax has closed. - Maria Weigl

Dean’s Flowers, a north-end Halifax fixture for a century, has closed for good.

The shop hasn’t been open since last week, owner Holly Winchester said Thursday during a brief interview while a few people were helping to tidy up the Stanley Street location.

The 2,500-square-foot shop also offered art, gift items and jewelry.

Selling flowers has become increasingly competitive with grocers and drugstores getting into the market, particularly around the major holidays. However, Winchester said the demise of Dean’s was the result of a straightforward transaction.

A sign outside Dean's Flowers on Stanley Street in Halifax, which has closed its doors after 100 years. - Tim Arsenault
A sign outside Dean's Flowers on Stanley Street in Halifax, which has closed its doors after 100 years. - Tim Arsenault

“The building was purchased by a couple of guys who made a great investment and want to use it themselves.”

In a message posted July 30 on Facebook, Winchester said the centennial of the business was coinciding with a downturn.

“Because my flower shop is 100 years old, we have had a ton of press over the last six months, on two television stations, in two newspapers, in a glossy magazine, and more. Everywhere I go, people tell me that they have seen me and my business being celebrated,” Winchester wrote.

“Strangely enough, all this fantastic exposure hasn't generated the income that we hoped it would.”

She said that the way search engine results can be optimized through the purchase of keywords was affecting her business.

“The Google guy actually said that I should do the same thing, and use their names and business names in my search words. That is not even remotely something that I would do. Personally I don't think it’s worth the bad karma.”

There were good days, though. Last Valentine's Day, Dean's Flowers sold about 1,200 roses, according to a story from February in The Chronicle Herald’s Homes Weekly section.

The piece said Winchester became the owner of the oldest flower store in the city in 2009, after managing the store for about four years.

The original owner was Arthur Dean, who came to Halifax from England and built a small store in the north end.

A recent special feature in Halifax’s ReFINEd magazine said clients have ranged from royalty to rock stars. The Queen carried flowers from the shop on a walkabout, and Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones reportedly had also been among those enjoying flowers from the shop.

Winchester said she was uncertain about her future plans.

“I’m sure there’s something else in store for me.”

She is looking forward to experiencing holidays the way her customers have for years.

“You know what, though? I’m going to have a Christmas and a Mother’s Day and a Valentine’s Day. I haven’t had those for a long time.”

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