A Sydney family business, Waratah Florist celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.
Ever since Paul and Pauline Bertuzzi opened the florist shop in 1973, it has been an iconic spot and community favourite in Earlwood for everything flower-related.
Pauline and Paul’s daughter, Anne Andrades said she took over the shop eight years ago, however had been working there for close to 40 years as she helped her parents out when she was still in school.
“We’re a family business,” Anne told The Greek Herald.
“My mum still works with me behind the scenes and my husband now also works in the business, ever since my father passed away.”
Waratah Florist are located at 4/322 Homer Street in Earlwood, Sydney and specialise in floral arrangements for many hotels, weddings, engagements, graduations, funerals and more.
Anne said although she never imagined becoming a florist, it was a part of her upbringing.
“We sort of knew that was what we’re going to do and over time, I grew closer to customers, and I developed a love and passion for it,” she said.
“I also love the interaction with the customers, and I love the fact that the Greek community as a whole supports us so much.”
The Sydney florist said it was very exciting to hit 50 years with her family business.
“All I want to do is thank all the staff, past and present, because without them we wouldn’t be here,” Anne said.
“We have had a lot of people come and go and help us through the years and some of them have even stayed for 30 years with us, so we’re very grateful. Our staff are our family.”
Anne said the 50-year journey was one full of hard work, determination, and constant support.
“It’s all about having good customer service, and being fair and not greedy,” she said.
“I think that it’s also very important to give people value for their money.”
The florist further shared that this achievement also made her mother, Pauline really proud.
“Waratah Florist, to me, is a lifetime of hard work,” Pauline said.
“It feels unreal actually [that the business hit 50 years]. I can’t believe that many years have passed, but they have. It wasn’t easy, it was hours and hours of hard work.”
Anne said Pauline took a lot of pride in the business and everything they have achieved over the years.
“She is feeling the same as I am,” Anne said.
“She’s mentioned over the last few weeks to different people, that her proudest moment was doing the flowers for the Sheraton Wentworth hotel in the city when Lady Diana came to Sydney.
“It was quite a memorable moment for her and a memory she treasures to this day.”
Pauline shared what she loved about having the floristry in Earlwood.
“The people here are beautiful,” Pauline said.
“They are very, very supportive of me, and I always try to be supportive of them in every way possible.
“That’s the way we’ve kept in business, by helping each other.”
Anne said although the staff played a big role in holding the family business together, the customers also need to be thanked for their success.
“I am also very thankful for our customers, we’ve had such an amazing and overwhelming response from them,” Anne said.
“They’ve been coming in and congratulating us, and it just makes me feel so proud. There are not many florists that have lasted so many years with that continuous support and loyalty.
“We value the smiles on our customers faces, the laughter, the joy and the memories we have made together and we are beyond grateful to have created long lasting friendships throughout our journey.”
Anne said she has two kids who are quite young, and despite not knowing whether they will carry on the family business in the future, she said, “I’ve still got enough energy to continue, not for another 50 years, but at least another 20.”
Waratah Florist is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6:30pm, Saturday 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm. You can find it at 4/322 Homer Street in Earlwood, Sydney.