West Van Florist™ opened its doors in 1933 and quickly grew to become a leader in the floral industry. It has occupied the same location since opening and is a permanent part of the West Vancouver community.
A greenhouse was added to the property, and a double garage was built on the east side (now the present parking lot). A truck fitted with a basket in the back for Betty and Frank Harrington's four children was used for pick-ups and deliveries. On Mr. Harrington's "days off" he would regularly visit wholesalers and growers in the valley to purchase product directly. The choice of flowers was often limited so he also grew a good selection of premium flowers in the field "outback" of the store. During the Second World War prices remained low with Funeral sprays costing between $1.00 and $1.50 - wreaths costing $5.00. The hourly pay rate averaged $.35 per hour. Containers were also hard to come by so it was not unusual to find flowers arranged in tin cans or glass containers that had previously held preserves. Wrapping paper was usually newspaper.
The 1950's was an era of tremendous growth, not only in Canada, but world-wide. On December 7th 1956 the grand re-opening of our "beautiful, new premises" took place. The new store was described by The News as a "wonderland of exquisite cut flowers and plants, displayed to the best possible advantage in a bright, cheery atmosphere brought about by the deep windows and modern lighting". One trade magazine was quoted as saying "West Vancouver again takes the lead in Canada; this time with one of the most modern and attractive shops in America." People came from far and wide to visit and sample the store's excellence for themselves.
The 1960s and 1970s
Milestones along the way included the installation of the first Telex machine in West Vancouver for quick and efficient order-sending world-wide. In 1972 Rob and Wendy Harrington, purchased the store from Betty and Frank Harrington. Son Rob had begun work at the age of six collecting moss and folding boxes. In 1976 he built and opened the garden shop.
The 1980s and 1990s
During the 1980's the store experienced more growth with many changes to the layout of the store occurring at this time. The store was computerised in 1981 to enable staff to offer enhanced customer service. Accolades have been presented to the store in the form of many awards and the store was the recipient of the prestigious FTD Top 250 Stores award. We have seen many changes in doing business since 1933 and the new millennium is no exception. From our humble beginnings when our arrangements were designed in old soup tins, and bedding plants were actually grown in beds "out back", wrapped in newspapers and tied with string - we have certainly come a very long way.
2000 and Beyond
As a premium florist, garden shop, and giftware store we promise to go beyond our customers' expectations in all that we do. We offer the freshest, highest quality flowers and plants that are available and feature the latest trends in flower, garden, and home decor gifts. We are proud of our integrity and on our friendly, professional service. We are committed to giving our customers an outstanding level of service, one that will nurture a long-term relationship. We contribute to our community and encourage social responsibility and personal development with our staff. West Van Florist™ Home & Garden is the natural choice for discerning people.