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Sa ing it with flowers . . . Cindy de Buyzer (left) has taken over the Thames St florist business previously owned by Jonell Johnson. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Jonell’s Florist is no more.

The flower shop in Oamaru’s central Thames St has changed hands after 21 years, becoming Flowerz 4 You from March 1.

Jonell Johnson has sold the business to local woman Cindy de Buyzer. Both parties are delighted, although they are at a loss to explain how it happened.

“There was no real reason,” Mrs de Buyzer said. “I happened to be talking to Jonell ..”

Mrs Johnson said she didn’t actually put the business on the market, but it sold anyway.

“I need another job, something to do,” she said.

In the meantime, she is travelling to Auckland for the arrival of a grandchild – the fifth in six years.

Travelling further afield is also on her wish-list, especially going on a cruise.

Mrs Johnson will attend the Interflora conference as a retired member to receive a “Top 10” presentation at a gala dinner.

Mrs de Buyzer is a self-taught florist with a lifelong interest in the art.

She has been in the shop alongside Mrs Johnson throughout February to learn the ropes and meet the suppliers and customers.

Valentine’s Day was “very busy”. Easter would be the next surge, then Mother’s Day was likely to be the busiest day of the year.

The shop would continue much as before, selling giftware as well as flowers, Mrs de Buyzer said.

Florist Paige Wills would stay on in her part-time role and Pam Rushton would still help with deliveries.

Mrs de Buyzer’s husband Mark, who runs the Jim’s Mowing business, would be involved with deliveries.

She has had lots of positive feedback on the changeover.

“There’s been a really good buzz from customers.”

Mrs Johnson said she loved the customers and made a lot of friends through the business.

She has been overwhelmed with the comments posted on her Facebook page since announcing her retirement.

“It gives you a wee tear.”