Fond farewell to Roger and Debbie
Published on: 02 May 2017
A DOWNEND couple who run a local florists are saying a teary goodbye to customers as they prepare to head to warmer climes.
Roger and Debbie Webb, who run Webb's Flowers and live in the flat above, are retiring to Spain where they have a holiday home.
But their business in Cleeve Wood Road will stay open as long-term employee Tracy Nicholls will take over the reins.
Originally the shop sold fruit and veg when Roger opened it 50 years ago. He started introducing flowers due to customer demand and changed to flowers only in 2000.
Debbie, 54, started working for the business when she met Roger and married 34 years ago.
Debbie said: "I joined in straight away and picked up my floristry skills from the florists who were working here.
"I loved our time here and it's very sad for us to be leaving. I get very emotional when I think of our customers.
"I have many happy memories and my fondest is throwing a retirement party for Rene Broad who had worked here for more than 20 years. It was a fantastic day and we gave her a Webb's crystal fruit ball because we did fruit and veg then."
To show their appreciation to their customers, the couple threw a party in the shop on Easter Sunday so everyone could say their goodbyes.
Debbie said: "We had people who turned up who have shopped here for 50 years. It was lovely for everyone to get together and very emotional.
"We just want to thank all our customers - old and new - for their loyal support over the years and we will both miss them very much."
Roger, 69, and Debbie, who says her favourite flower is a white peony, were expected to fly to the Costa del Sol at the end of April where they will spend their retirement with their two faithful dogs.
Tracy, 46, who has worked for Roger and Debbie for 11 years, said she was looking forward to taking over.
"I knew it was going to be on the cards because Roger was of retirement age and strangely it's coincided with a lot of other things, like my landlady wanting to sell up, that makes me feel it's meant to be.
"It's completely different to what I used to do as I worked for Barclays Bank and then was an IT trainer but I love it and there's never two days which are the same. I'm very much looking forward to getting stuck in and making decisions for myself and getting involved in the whole process.
"It'll be Deb, Roger and their two dogs leaving and me and my two cats moving in!"
Tracy said one thing will definitely stay the same - the name of the shop.
"It's staying exactly as it is. It's been Webb's Flowers for so long and Roger is very proud of the shop and what he's built up. It's very important to me to keep that name."