Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has visited Angmering florist Ellen Ford to congratulate her on being shortlisted for an industry award.
Ellen welcomed him to her shop, The Enchanted Florist, in High Street, and introduced him to her trainee Clare Calder, who is currently studying for a level four NVQ in floristry.
The Enchanted Florist, which was opened just over a year ago, is the only shop in Sussex to be shortlisted for Retail Shop of the Year 2018 in the British Florist Association awards.
There are initially 30 florists up for Best Retail Florist 2018, with the winner determined by public vote. Ellen recently discovered she has reached the final ten for the award.
Ellen will be joining other nominees at a gala dinner and award ceremony in Birmingham on Saturday, when the winners will be announced.
Mr Herbert said: “It was a pleasure to meet Ellen and Clare and to hear more about the florist industry.
“Ellen is representing West Sussex at the awards, as the only shop to be shortlisted from the county, and I hope she has a wonderful and successful evening.”
Ellen, who lives in Arundel with her husband and daughter, trained as a florist at Brinsbury College, near Pulborough, then worked overseas for six years.
When she returned to the UK, she set up her own business working from a home-based studio for three years before taking over the former newsagent’s premises in Angmering village.
Ellen said: “It was done on a shoestring and a wing and a prayer.
“I opened on September 27, 2017, and Angmering has been so supportive, I love being a part of the village.
“I still maintain my connection with Arundel as well through social media and free delivery to Angmering and Arundel.
“I continue to learn and every year I make sure I do some sort of training. It’s important to continue learning and keep up to date with new techniques and trends.”