Helen O’Grady is flanked by Merrilynn Plotz and Carolyn Whyte. Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Eganville – Following the devastating fire in 2007, things changed at the O’Grady Brothers Garage with the removal of the gas pumps and Helen O’Grady ventured out into something new with gift baskets and giftware. 

“It was something I was interested in,” she said. “I had always wanted to do gift baskets.”

Helen worked with Sandra Dunnigan in those early days following the May 2008 opening of the gift shop. The gift baskets were popular with baby baskets, wedding baskets, sympathy baskets, get-well baskets and candy bouquets. In fact, it was so popular people were asking for the O’Gradys to consider doing flowers as well. 

“You have to be trained or have someone who knows flowers, so Merrilynn Plotz came on 13 years ago,” she said. 

With experience working in various flower shops, including one owned by Pat O’Grady’s late sister, Joan Verch, she brought the knowledge to the flower shop which helped the business flourish. More recently they were joined by Carolyn Whyte who took an online course. 

The flower shop has a wide clientele and has been very busy, with the ever-changing demands of the florist business. While some days it might appear it will be a slow day, then an order comes in, or there might be a funeral and things get quite busy. There are also the weddings, special events and people ordering flowers for loved ones. 

“It has been very popular,” Helen said. 

The flower shop receives two deliveries of flowers a week to keep things in stock for when they are needed. Servicing not only Eganville and the immediate area, the O’Grady’s van also is off doing deliveries in a wide area. 

“We go to Barry’s Bay, Killaloe, Golden Lake, Eganville, Douglas and into Beachburg, Westmeath, as well as Pembroke and Griffith,” she said. “If a customer needs flowers, we will take them.”

Weddings and funerals are the big events and there have been many handled by O’Grady’s since 2010. 

“I won’t miss prom,” Helen joked. “But it is nice to see the young people coming in and I know it is fun for them.”

Was there a special wedding she remembers?

“They are all special,” she said. “We treat them all like it is our own.”

By Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 13, 2023 at 13:35

This item reprinted with permission from   The Eganville Leader   Eganville, Ontario
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