A trader whose family business has been a feature on Haverhill’s market days for 40 years celebrated the landmark on Saturday - and he had plenty of praise for the town and its people.
The rain and strong winds could not dampen the spirits of Darrel Keen, his family and staff as they cracked open the bubbly to mark the ruby anniversary of DK Fresh Cut Flowers and Plant Suppliers.
The longevity of the business, which was brought to Haverhill in 1975 by Darrel’s late parents, Darrel Senior and Brenda, would not have been possible but for the people of Haverhill, said Darrel Junior.
“Haverhill has always been the best market for us. Lovely town, lovely people.
“In 2007 mum sadly passed away, but business started to pick up. I left other markets behind and focused all my attention on to Haverhill.
“Slowly but surely the small stall I had taken over from my parents started to grow thanks to the people of Haverhill.”
Darrel junior, who said he learnt everything he knows from watching his dad as a child, has been the owner of the business since 2005, when his parents decided they could not longer continue to run it.
The same year his dad also started to suffer with Alzheimer’s. He died in 2012 at the age of just 64.
Darrel now runs a stall on the Friday and Saturday with his wife Nikki and their two children Kirsty, 15, and Kieren, 13, with the help of Aaron, who everyone knows better as ‘ar boy.’
With the market stalls doing so well, DK Fresh Cut Flowers and Plant Suppliers expanded to a shop in Queen Street three years ago.
There they sell plants, fresh flowers as well as artificial, pots and fresh fruit and vegetables and supply wedding flowers, bouquets and funeral tributes. They also make their own holly wreaths.
The job has its rewards, as Darrel explained: “I look back on my life and think about how much I love what I do. My lovely family and ‘ar boy’ make the early starts and late finishes much more enjoyable because I know we are all working hard together to build a strong successful business, not only for ourselves but also for mum and dad.
“I would like to thank each and every one of long standing, loyal customers for supporting the business.”