Well-Known Florists To Retire After 35 Years In Bloom

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Tony and Mary Ennis of Forget Me Not florists who are retiring on Saturday, January 17. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

THEY’VE been brightening up the lives of Tralee people for 35 years now, but come January 17, Forget-Me-Not Florists will wilt.

Tony and Mary Ennis will retire on that Saturday having operated their flower shop in Tralee for the past 35 years.

Originally from Dublin, they moved to Tralee in 1972 when Fruit Importers of Ireland transferred Tony to open Munster Fruit and Produce, a banana ripening and distribution plant in Tralee.

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In the late 1970s Mary studied floristry at the renowned Constance Pry Floristry School in London and together they opened their own fruit and vegetable shop and flower shop in Tralee in 1980.

This shop was located in the Leisure Way Arcade in Tralee, now the site of CH Chemist. Two years later they moved to Tralee Shopping Centre, formerly Latchfords and joined many of the shops in the centre such as The Shoe Bar, The Knitting Centre, Burger King, Willie Ryle, Dallas, Ger Power Sports, Hugh Culloty Electrical, Rex’s Bakery, Mick O’Meara Photography, Smithies Coffee Shop, Downtown Deli, Saxones Shoes, and Bennetton.

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In 1985 they moved the flower shop to Russell Street now Jasmine and later Rock Street, opposite the Brogue Inn where the Horan’s Health now is.

Tony opened his fruit and vegetable store on the site of their existing premises in Market Place, Tralee.

Situated on the site of Kingdom Livestock, Tony’s main customers were the farming community.

Tony says “I had a fantastic relationship with the farming community, my shop became a meeting place for the farmers and their families”.

Together they had four children, Elisa, Suzanne, Mark and Janice. Elisa their daughter studied floristry in the Welsh College of Horticulture and joined the family business. She went on to complete her Society of Floristry N.D.S.F and represented Ireland in the Chelsea Flower Show on the Interflora team in 1993.

In the late 1990s, the Mart moved to their existing location in Mounthawk and in 2003, Mary joined Tony in their newly built shop in the Market where they concentrated solely on their flower business.

Together they built up a very successful floristry business as an agent for Interflora while at the same time educating their four children through college.

Speaking to Tony and Mary about their decision to retire they said “it’s time, we put the shop up for sale and sold it. We’ve worked very hard in the last 35 years, working six days a week, our children are now raised and have families of their own so now it the time why we can, to make time for ourselves to spend time with our grandchildren and please god, enjoy our retirement together.”

“As two Dubs, Tralee and Kerry has been very good to us, it gave us a livelihood and helped educate our children. It has also given us three fabulous granddaughters in Castlegregory and two grandsons in Derryquay, Tralee a legacy we are very proud of.”

Mary says “we are very fortunate to have built up such a successful business in Tralee. This is down to the tremendous support and assistance of our children who helped us build up the business and to our very loyal customers who have continued to support us over the years. We will open after the Christmas on the 27th of December and will be open with a Retirement Sale until we close on Saturday the 17th of January. We would like to thank all our customers and our business neighbours and friends for supporting us through our tremendous 35 years in business. We will retire with many fond memories”.

A retirement we’ll earned.

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