Flower lady wraps up after 36 years

Paul Hutchings
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DEER LAKE Roses, carnations, tulips. Viola Locke has sold them all in her 36 years running Deer Lake’s only flower shop

Viola Locke will step down as owner of Deer Lake Flower and Gifts after 36 years.

While she never saw a giant Venus fly trap demanding to be fed something more gruesome than flies, she did see her share of happiness over the years, as well as tears.

“When that phone rings, you never know what’s going to be on the other end,” said Locke, who goes by the nickname of Ollie. “It could be that someone is getting married, or somebody is graduating, or someone died — you just never know.”

Such is the life of a flower shop. Florists are there for births and deaths, and everything in between.

It could almost be taken as a warning for Sharon Young, the local businesswoman who is taking over Deer Lake Flower and Gifts and renaming it Young Floral Designs. Locke will stay on for a year helping to run the shop, and then she’s off, probably to just deal with flowers on special occasions.

She started the business in 1977 at its first location in the Hotel St. George, now known as the Driftwood Inn.

She partnered with a flower company in Corner Brook, and then later bought out the partnership. Locke moved to the current location in 1991.

In the beginning, she would sell the flowers she purchased from Corner Brook for Mother’s Day or Easter. Someone suggested she start her own business and she said she’s enjoyed every minute.

Tears come to her eyes when she looks back.

“I’ve brought happiness to people that I know, so I’m glad for that,” she said. “Flowers are cheerful, so I’m glad that I’ve been able to be in the business of making people happy.”

Locke said she was also lucky to have some good help along the way and a very welcoming clientele. Once she’s fully retired, she said, she would like to do some traveling, possibly on an Alaskan cruise.


Twitter: WStarDeerLake

Organizations: Driftwood Inn

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • judy and bill
    January 19, 2013 - 23:00

    enjoy your retirement Ollie! It won't be the same without you!

  • audrey f.
    January 19, 2013 - 12:43

    way to go ollie congratulations to you and the family enjoy every minute of it.

    • Vera Hancock
      March 02, 2013 - 15:15

      Ollie you are as sweet as the beautiful arrangements you so passionately made!! I will sure miss hearing your voice on the other end of that phone..Congrats on your retirement well deserved and yes travel!!! Maybe we can do Vegas someday!! xoxoxo

  • ShirleyLane-Brinson
    January 19, 2013 - 10:55

    Beautiful lady,,beautiful service..Always a pleasure to shop there when I lived in the area. Always so friendly and helpful..She will be missed..Good Luck and God Bless in all future endeavors..