Rhonda in her element in flowers
As the new owner of Ahuriri’s The Village Florist, Taradale born and bred Rhonda Claypole is in her element.
“I just love coming to work — this is my passion.”
Rhonda is a familiar face around town, having worked for several florist shops over the years. She says although she has always been happy where she’s worked, she’s often dreamed of owning her own store.
“The opportunity came up — it was the perfect location and size — I thought I’d be silly not to take it.”
With her most recent employ now closed, her customers have been asking for her.
“They’ve been wondering where I’d gone. I didn’t get the chance to tell them — I felt a bit sad about that.”
Rhonda says although setting up The Village Florist has been a challenge, everything has gone to plan and she’s had plenty of support, including taking on former workmate Monique Bottomley as her assistant. She says everyone has been kind, helpful and encouraging.
“The people at Ahuriri have been so friendly and welcoming — there’s a really good vibe. They all like to support a new business. Everyone’s behind you and wants you to do well.”
Rhonda is also jumping on the green bandwagon, hoping to become more eco friendly — starting with the recycling.
“We’re already dropping off all the cardboard and are the recycle depot for Nespresso. We’re also trying to cut down on our plastic and waste.”
Bringing stock from home is a big plus, growing a lot of the foliage herself.
“I have a great picking garden,” she says.
They are trying to use paper bags and more natural wraps.
“We want to have a green and a plastic bin. It doesn’t make sense to put green waste in the rubbish bag.”
More gift lines are on the cards. Rhonda says she wants The Village Florist to be innovative and offer a range of fresh flowers, including exotics.
“I want to put my own stamp on it.”
■ The Village Florist, 72 Bridge St, Ahuriri, Napier, phone 06-835 1222