End of an era for family florist

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Florist Moreen Gracie is shutting the family-run business after four blooming wonderful decades in Oban.

The 58-year-old will hang up her snippers for the last time on March 30 when she closes The Flower Basket in Stafford Street.

Moreen took over the business after her mum, Margaret Gracie, retired. Before Margaret moved into Stafford Street, she had worked with Maxton & White in Argyll Square and from home.

Over the years Moreen has helped hundreds of Oban people ‘say it with flowers’, marking both happy and sad times.

Moreen had only just taken on the business when her 13-year-old son Jason was killed in an accident on his paper-round. She said dealing with her own  tragedy had made it easier for her to help bereaved customers because of her experience.

‘It’s when you go through something so awful as that, that you are able to help others who are bereaved. Everyone in Oban was so good to me. I’d like to think I’ve been able to help others during their sad times too,’ she said.

Mrs Gracie, who has another son Jonathan, also has eight grandchildren.

‘I’m selling the shop and my van and am hoping someone will give me a job. I’ll see what I can find. There’s no risk of me getting bored with eight grandchildren!

‘I’m sad to close but the decision has been made. The past few years have been quite difficult with more people doing flowers in the town. There’s not quite enough business to keep us all going. It’s just a sign of the times and now it’s the right time for me to do something new,’ she said.

‘Jonathan is gutted for me because he says I’ve worked so hard at this. I’ve shed plenty of tears over shutting down but I’m moving on. I’d like to thank everyone for all their support and custom over the years. There’s no one quite like Oban people.

‘I’ve had great staff working for me and fabulous customers and I’ll miss them all but I’ll be enjoying my first Mother’s Day for 26 years without having to work so I’m hoping to put my feet up!’