Some people may not know them by name, but Steve Fitzpatrick and his wife Diane will be well known to anyone who has visited Halesowen. That is because they are the proud owners of the Victorian Flower Stall and have been for over 30 years.
“We’ve been here for a long time and visitors often tell me the stall brightens up the town. I think it has become a bit of a feature”.
Steve and Diane greet every customer with a warm smile and a beautiful selection of flowers no matter what the weather.
“Over the years we’ve got to know our customers. We’ve seen generations grow. The children became the adults and continue to visit us with their own kids”.
Steve and Diane’s flower stall not only provides a beautiful focal point in the town centre, selling fresh flowers to passers by; they also provide flowers for weddings and funerals. “We provide flowers for both weddings and funerals, but have never advertised. All our work has come from our customers recommending us”.
Having worked in the area for over 3 decades, Steve is a passionate supporter of Halesowen. He regularly volunteers his spare time to the local Chamber of Trade. In fact, just last year he stood down from the position of Chairman after fulfilling the role for over 17 years. However as Steve is not one to take things easy, he remains a part of the Chamber of Trade in the role of Vice-Chair, supporting Wayne Edwards in developing the town for visitors and traders alike.
His work with the Chamber has helped Halesowen to remain as one of the successful high streets in the Dudley borough. This includes Halesowen’s application to become a Business Improvement District (BID).
“We started the BID around 3 and a half years ago. People are now realising, not just in Halesowen, other boroughs throughout the country that a BID is the only way towns can succeed. Birmingham have got a number BID applications going through at the moment, including Broad Street and China Town. Dudley is the only borough in the country that doesn’t have a BID and Halesowen wants to be the first.”
A BID gives the power to the local businesses and allows them to make decisions and introduce initiatives aimed at improving the local facilities. This includes improvements to both the shopping and trading environment in the area. The aim is to support new and existing businesses to become established on a long term basis.
“Last year Halesowen had 12 million visitors, this year that number looks set to grow but we want to do more and advertise the town to a wider audience.”
“For one thing Halesowen is a friendly town. Shops welcome you in and they’ll talk to you. The main high street is pedestrian friendly which provides a safe environment for children and families”.
Next time you are in the town centre, make sure you visit the Victorian Flower Stall. No matter the weather or season, you’re guaranteed a friendly smile and a stall full of fresh fabulous flowers and plants.
2 Hagley Street
Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3AS