East Ayrshire wedding florist who won top prize is now aiming for national glory


A Darvel florist has landed a prestigious award at Scotland’s Business Awards – and is now aiming for a national title.

Thistle Du Florist won the award for Best Ayrshire Florist at the ceremony late last year after a lengthy nomination and judging process narrowed it down to three finalists.

The success means the company is now in the hat for the national final, which is due to take place in March at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow.

The judging process involves a mystery shopper coming to inspect what is on offer in the store itself and assessing the staff’s knowledge of their flowers. The panel also assesses the level of service they receive, reviews online reviews in detail, after which comes the votes.

Thistle Du is run by Heather Martin alongside Fiona Anderson, who have nearly 50 years of floristry experience, and assistant Liz Templeton; and has been on the move on Darvel’s West Main Street for nine years. Heather previously had her own shop in the same town before moving to The Gambia in 2005.

A positive word of mouth effect led to customers calling from all over Ayrshire and beyond, reaching as far as Oban and a notable order from Smith’s of Greenock for over 200 thistle buttonholes – including a dozen on the same day !

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Nominations for the Scotland Business Awards are anonymous and to date the team does not know who came up with them or which of their bespoke creations was the catalyst.

However, Heather and Fiona believe it can be as simple as providing a personalized approach alongside their unique artistic flair that has led to their success.

Heather said: “Everyone is different. I love working with my hands, I hate paperwork and technical stuff! So I just put that passion into my shop and the people who come here and they see that.

Fiona said: “Doing everything by hand like we do, you can’t do it with a cookie cutter. One bride’s bouquet of eucalyptus and white roses will be different from another’s because they will be different people with different tastes, styles and dresses. We try to stick to that idea.

Both women admitted they were shocked to win on the night, and with the prospect of being crowned Scotland’s best florist now on the horizon, nerves are starting to rise.

” I try not to think about it! says Heather. “It’s huge and it’s all over Scotland. But whatever happens, it won’t change the way we do things.

Fiona added: “We’ve been runners-up before so we’ll go and have a great night and see what happens. If we win, wow that would be great.

Thistle Du specializes in wedding and funeral flowers as well as birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

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