Meade’s is not just any florists, as anyone who has ever found themselves drawn to its fantastic window displays will attest.
What marks this independent family business out from its competitors is the level of service and sheer quality of the roses, lilies, orchids, chrysanthemums, carnations, strelitzia and other fresh flowers it stocks.
The shop is like a breath of fresh air in a day and age when the mass market and the hard sell often seem to predominate.
For nine years Meade’s was based in Morning Lane, and the ‘fashion hub’ development on that street led the shop to relocate, with help from Hackney Council, to 15 Lower Clapton Road into a unit that was previously occupied by a betting shop.
They see this as a major achievement in an area where so many other businesses have opened.
Speaker of Hackney Michael Desmond was one of dozens of people who attended the official launch of the new shop on 5 September and enjoyed canapés and drinks.
As has been the case in so many industries, the internet has added a new dimension to the flower trade, and Meade’s has a website that allows customers to order a bouquet at any time of the day or night and arrange for delivery to destinations worldwide.
The business also handles flower arrangements for wedding receptions and other functions, loans vases and linen (it has over 200 vases in stock) and offers friendly advice to customers looking to achieve an exceptional floral display.
Online testimonials reflect the gratitude of the shop’s many loyal customers. One customer, journalist Stephen Vaudrey says: “Best to just say who, what and why and let one of the team make up flowers that speak
“Trendy or old Hackney alike get the same caring help to speak the language of flowers.”
Of course, like virtually everything else, flowers are now available from supermarkets, and Meade’s accepts that there will always be a need for what they offer.
“We’re in the business of emotions,” says Joyce of Meade’s.
“Somebody comes in to buy flowers to give to someone because they are sorry or they are happy, for a wedding or a funeral or to say thank you or congratulations. This is a time when you need something special.
“When the supermarkets do what we do, there will no longer be florists.”
In short, buying flowers is not like buying a tin of beans, and the renaissance in Hackney of those other traditional high street staples, the local independent butchers, bakers and greengrocers, augurs well for Meade’s and the community.