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Lizzie Owen, Hearts & Roses Floristry, Marlow

Christmas is a fantastic time of year for flowers – I’m a big fan of yclamen, aconites and statement door wreaths –  but I think a lot of people just pick up a poinsettia from Waitrose and leave it at that! I’ve been a florist for 13 years and have exhibited at Chelsea Garden Show, so I really do my stuff if I say so myself! The highlight of my job is meeting clients, understanding what they want to achieve and being part of the community. Shopping at the best local shops is so important – not just for the small business owners, but for local people. Shops like ours really work hard to create value – we have a free delivery service, serve mulled wine on the weekends and our door is always open for advice.









We opened last year and it’s been brilliant and scary and inspiring and tough all at the same time! To own my own restaurant has been my dream for so long but it’s such a leap of faith and financially I’ve thrown everything I have at it – I think sometimes it’s easy for locals to think ‘they’re doing fine’ when margins are much more fine than that, particularly for chefs like me who are trying to do something different and special. We aim to the most eco-friendly restaurant in Oxford – we use our left-overs to cook up meals for the local homeless hostel which I’m really proud of  –  and I’m absolutely obsessed about the quality and provenance of food. My message would be to think twice before grabbing a bite at the shopping centre or chain, and come in for some real service!



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