With a degree in sculpture and a Masters in Climate Change, Miriam Burke isn’t your usual florist. Which is just as well, because Woodberry Blooms isn’t your usual flower shop. ‘It’s going to be way more exciting than a normal florist,’ Miriam says.
Owned by Manor House Development Trust (MHDT), all profits from the business go back into local community projects such as employment and training schemes, health and wellbeing and arts projects. Not only that, but the shop will sell locally made gifts and homewares, supporting local businesses such as the luxury scented candles from nearby House of Buckley, alongside the selection of flowers and plants you’d expect.
Having recently opened, with the expected orders for Christmas trees flooding in, Miriam has some grand designs for the place. ‘We’ll be serving coffee throughout the day,’ she says, sourced from one of the best London roasteries, and something stronger and almost certainly bubbly in the evening, when Woodberry Blooms will host monthly workshops and events, the first of which, fittingly, will be a Christmas wreath-making class.
‘We want this to be a social space too,’ Miriam explains, and she has some experience in this regard. While working for the MHDT first time around, over five years ago, she started the Knitter Natter knitting group, which is still going strong today. She built some lasting friendships in the group, which is just one of many reasons why she relishes being a part of the local community.
What I love most about Woodberry Down is that I feel like I’ve been here for ages, even though I haven’tQUOTE: Miriam Burke of Woodberry Blooms
The knitting group was started as an environmental project, and Miriam’s passion for such matters still runs strong. ‘Everything in Woodberry Blooms is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible,’ she says – including her desire for folk to use reusable cups for their coffee.
With Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day to come, there’s plenty of scope for Miriam’s own brand of floristry to thrive. ‘We have some big plans for the future,’ she says excitedly, ‘so watch this space.’