Jim Turley had no idea that when his parents, Frank and Grace, opened Turley's Florist more than 50 years ago that he would be running the family business on Terminal Avenue.
Turley said the store was opened by his father, a civic engineer, in 1962 as a garden shop and paint store, and while the paint section of the business lasted just one year, the garden part of the store continues to this day.
He said that his father, sensing a productive future in flowers and gardening in Nanaimo, enrolled in a floral design course in Portland, Ore., to help his store succeed.
Turley said that, following is his father's floral footsteps, he achieved an agricultural degree and ran a cranberry and blueberry farm in Richmond for eight years before he and his new wife Marianne bought half the shares in Turley's Florist in 1975 and bought the rest in 1990.
Since then, the business has 'blossomed' and Turley's Florist was named one of the top three florists in Canada by Chatelaine last year, as well as receiving a Teleflorist award for outstanding service.
In 2011, the business and the couple was recognized by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce with a Community Spirit Award in recognition of their involvement in many activities in Nanaimo over the years.
Turley said the couple have always been big supporters of community involvement.
As to the secret of their success, Turley said his staff keeps up with the latest technology and teaching in regards to the care and handling of plants and flowers and he tries to be competitive with pricing.
"But I believe that what's most important is that we provide quality service and products and that always makes a big difference," he said.
Turley said he and Marianne have been trying to inspire one of their three daughters to eventually take over the business when they retire, as they did from his parents, but they have moved onto other career paths.
"I think we work way too much and too hard for their tastes so their educations have taken them to other endeavours," he said.
"But we do have a 13 year-old grandson so we're hoping he might be more interested in another 10 years."
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