Unless you suffer from severe allergies, you’re likely to be in a good mood when casually browsing at a florist. But the positive vibes at Jodie McGregor Flowers make this floral-induced happiness skyrocket.
The narrow shop on Annandale’s busy Johnston Street is run by long-time florist Jodie McGregor and her husband Stu White. The pair opened the store 20 years ago – the same year they were married – and in that time they’ve remained dedicated to providing the preferred blooms of their much-loved customers.
“We’re not flower snobs at all,” says White, who traded his former commute to a CBD finance job for early mornings at the Flower Markets. Rather than turning their noses up at blooms like gerberas and irises that have fallen out of flower fashion, they try to bring in whatever their customers are looking for. “If that’s what someone likes, that’s what they like, right?”
You’ll see a few of these golden oldies as well as sunflowers, peonies and roses scaling the colour spectrum, but natives are the main event here. “We like working with sculptural, interesting things like gnarly natives, and then putting them with the floral element as well.”
On our visit to the fragrant store, McGregor was busy organising bunches like these beside the shop’s wall of flowers for customers to peruse. We saw golden-green nests of dryandras, dusty pink Geraldton wax flowers from Western Australia, flame-red grevilleas and all their cousins, plus freshly perfumed branches of eucalyptus among the more delicate petals.
You can take home a bunch of garden roses for around $30, with larger, tailored posies going for $59-$129 in the store. More extravagant arrangements with premium blooms like phalaenopsis or cymbidium orchids and rare natives can be delivered in their vases for around $250.
White is endlessly enthusiastic about the store, but says that, at the end of the day, it’s about people. And that’s the best part of the job.“Flowers are for weddings, for babies and even for funerals. You build this relationship with someone, and that’s a really cool thing.”
And what’s not so hot about running a flower shop? “Valentine’s Day,” laughs White. “It’s full-on and [we need to ask] so much from our team. It’s just hard and intense.”
But even in the busy periods, the team at Jodie McGregor Flowers are there to get to know you and help you achieve your floral dreams.
“We try to be customer focused, that’s how we started the business – a small shop, Jodie knowing everyone – like Cheers, where everyone knows your name.”