By Libby HopkinsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhidden Florist’s motto is “More than just your average flower shop.” This is a fitting motto for the shop because this December it will be celebrating its 60th anniversary.

“The biggest secret to our success would have to be our staff, both past and present,” said Owner Sue Emburey. “Whidden has always been committed to excellent customer service and we strive to build relationships with our customers so that they will continue to come back and see us time and time again.”

Whidden Florist was founded in 1954 as Brandon’s very first flower shop. The original owner was Letha Whidden, and then years later the ownership was transferred to Sonny and Barbara Mabry, Whidden’s daughter and son-in-law.

It continued to be family owned and operated until 2000 when it was purchased by local realtor, Mary Boor. She sold the shop to Emburey and her husband, Steve, in 2008. The couple had just moved to the Brandon area only two weeks prior to taking ownership of the flower shop. Emburey loves being a florist and sharing special moments with her customers.

“It’s very rewarding to know that you have played a part in making someone’s day a little brighter,” Emburey said. “We care about our customers and the circumstances that bring them into our shop, whether it be the birth of a new baby or the loss of a loved one, we always strive to meet our customers where they are and express in flowers what words may not be able to convey.”

Even in tough economic times, Whidden Florist has managed to survive and thrive in the community.

“When times are tough, people don’t have expendable income for flowers and we’ve had to change with the times to keep the business going,” Emburey said. “We are committed to our local schools, churches, community organizations, and our individual customers to provide the highest quality product at a reasonable price.”

Whidden Florist looks forward to serving the Brandon community for many years to come.

“It is our hope to continue serving the Brandon community into the future and building on the foundation of the past,” Emburey said.

To learn more about the Whidden Florist, visit www.whiddensflorist.net or call 689-8105. In honor of its 60th anniversary Whidden Florist is offering free delivery on orders over $50 during the month of December when mentioning this article. Whidden Florist is located at 425 W. Robertson St.