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After more than 70 years on the job, Sudbury florist has no plans to retire

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Pat Ptaszynski has been in the flower business in Greater Sudbury for 73 years.

Ptaszynski started working at Rosery Florist as a teenager and in 1979 she inherited the Larch Street business. It’s Sudbury’s oldest flower shop, operating since 1938.

As she nears her 90th birthday coming up Dec. 31, she took some time to reflect on her decades of serving customers in the North.

“I came to work here in 1950 on Mother’s Day, May the 8, (a) Saturday, to help out with Mr. Kramer,” Ptaszynski recalled recently.

“I liked it so much that he asked me to stay.”

She developed her floral skills quickly, and within a few months was doing wedding and funeral work. Over the years, she has seen people come in for a wedding and return for a funeral.

“Through the years, we have gone through four generations of customers doing the weddings and funerals, of course,” she said.

“But we get them from birth till we expire. We don’t call our customers, customers. They are family.”

Over the years, Pat Ptaszynski of Rosery Florist has done the arrangements for the Queen when she visited Sudbury in 1984 and for Princess Diana's visit to the city in the 1990s. (Photo from video)

Ptaszynski said she loves her work and staff of about 15 employees, including five drivers.

“And all my old staff comes back and helps me so it says something good, right?” she said.

“The busiest day is Valentine’s,” she said, although Mother’s Day is busy, too, because people who forgot mom on their day “they come the next week.”

Over the years, Rosery Florist has done the arrangements for the Queen when she visited Sudbury in 1984 for the opening of Science North.

FLOWERS FOR ROYALTY

“We were summoned from Ottawa to make the arrangements for the tables,” Ptaszynski said.

“I was sniffed by dogs and RCMP each time I went in. You had to wear a badge.”

She was busy for the next royal stop, too, in the 1990s when Charles and Diana visited the city.

“We did the flowers for her,” she said, referring to Diana.

After so much time, Ptaszynski said she still loves her job and will keep going as long as she can.

“I give it a year at a time now,” she said.

“I am at that young age of 90 and my grandmother died at 99 so I can keep going for a while.” 

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