The “Meet your Kingston&Co” blog series tells the story of Kingston Road Village through the eyes of local shopkeepers.
A true landmark in Kingston Road Village is the Kingston Road Flower Market. Located on the corner of Kingston Road and Scarborough Road, Kingston Road Flower Market is owned and operated by Lena Willard. I had the opportunity to find out more about the history of the business and how they see the neighbourhood.
Lena bought the business 23 years ago, however the space had been used a flower market and convenience store for much longer. When Lena took over, a relative of her father’s was selling the shop. As it was such a natural and easy transition, Lena said it feels as though she inherited the business. Since taking over, she dropped the convenience store aspect and focused her attention on her flowers. She did, however, keep the sign with iconic Coca-Cola signs. Even when I was a kid growing up in the area, we always knew it as the “corner with the coke sign,” and I’m sure my generation was not the first to use them as a marker.
Being a veteran of the area, Lena describes Kingston Road Village as a friendly place for family and community, a place for people of the area to come and enjoy themselves. There is a relaxed air about the neighbourhood, still receiving the cool lake air at the top of the hill, but bypassing the busy tourist attraction feeling that comes with being very close to the beach.
The area is host to many small shops, as we have seen in this series so far, and Lena makes a point of supporting her neighbours. Courage foods, Total Spa and the Feathers Pub are some of her favourite places to stop by.
The flower shop itself is a very traditional flower shop, offering nothing but fresh flowers and arrangements. For any occasion, they are worth considering to create your arrangements, even without mentioning they are known for their roses. When choosing their stock, Lena tends to know and trust the growers, and are open to trying new flowers. As a version of the “100 mile diet” that is very popular in the area, they do tend to keep what is in season in the store, allowing everything to be fresh.
My last question to Lena was to find out her favourite flower. Her pick: freesias.