Blooming success for Monterey florist

Winners: B&M Florist owners Maria and Bill Rizos with daughters Katrina Bakis and Joanne Poulos celebrate after taking out the Florist of the Year award in the Sydney Market's Fresh Awards. Picture: Chris Lane
Winners: B&M Florist owners Maria and Bill Rizos with daughters Katrina Bakis and Joanne Poulos celebrate after taking out the Florist of the Year award in the Sydney Market's Fresh Awards. Picture: Chris Lane

B&M Florist in Monterey has been named Florist of the Year in the 2017 Fresh Awards.

Run by Sydney Markets more than 300 independent retailers and growers participated in the awards, where retailers are measured through a rigorous mystery shopping program over the course of six months

The mystery shoppers make purchases, test industry knowledge, and engage with staff to measure the customer’s shopping journey through the store. 

The freshest picks were announced at a gala function at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on Wednesday.

B&M Florist owner Maria Rizos said the win capped off a great year after they won the florist category in the St George Local Business Awards.

‘’It was fantastic,’’ she said.

‘’We were a finalist last year so it was nice to take the win this year.’’

The store has been a staple in Monterey and will celebrate its 30 year anniversary in August.

It is also a family affair with Maria working alongside her husband Bill and two daughters Joanne and Katrina.

‘’We first had the business when I was 25 and my first daughter was only two,’’ she said.

‘’We had two more and they were born into it.’’

A lot has changed in the past 30 years but the family are committed to staying ahead of the latest trends.

‘’It’s a lot harder these days because there are so many florists,’’ she said.

‘’You have to be better than everybody else.

‘’We still love what we do. It’s a passion not a job for us.

‘’We want to set the trends, not follow them.’’

Recognition: Dianne's Fresh Flowers won the service excellence award. Picture: Supplied

Recognition: Dianne's Fresh Flowers won the service excellence award. Picture: Supplied

It was not the only win for a St George business with Dianne’s Fresh Flowers at Sans Souci winning the service excellence award in the florist category.

Sydney Markets chief executive Brad Latham said independent businesses are the heart of their local communities. 

 “From waking up at the crack of dawn daily to purchase the best picks to the back breaking work of harvesting and picking, greengrocers, florists and growers go to great lengths to provide their customers with the freshest and highest quality produce,’ he said.

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