This March we launched our first ever funding scheme with a pot of £15,000 that was shared between nine projects from Levenshulme residents who were chomping at the bit to do something new that coincided with our social aims – exploring new ideas for our high street or creating or growing their own retail enterprises. All our winners have now received their funding and have been beavering away getting their projects off the ground over the last six months and have agreed to share their progress with us…and you! So over the next five weeks we will share updates from each of our winning projects on what they have been up to since March and how they have spent their funding so far.
So far we’ve heard updates from Woolly Mammoth, Byrne the Cake Brewery and Love Levenshulme – this time we’ll be getting an update from Melvyn Newton, the brains behind The Lily and Daisy Flower Company who received £890 of funding. The business aimed to operate as a market stall and local delivery service, operating by bike and selling only flowers sourced locally in season and from indoor growing operations in England and the Netherlands at other times, with the aim of being carbon neutral within two years of starting business. Melvyn updated us:
Lily & Daisy Flowers – the journey so far.
The Lily & Daisy Flower Company is gearing up for its first day of trading at Levenshulme market on Saturday 12th September. We will be trading from our custom-built cycle trailer, offering bunched flowers and aquapacked flowers.
The journey since March has been a long and interesting one. The cycle trailer has now been built. It is a beautiful piece of design courtesy Nik White, a trailer builder from Bristol. I hope it will be a model for anyone who wants to run a business from the back of a bicycle.
We have struggled to meet our ambition to source flowers exclusively within a radius of 50 miles of Manchester. We wanted this business to be carbon-neutral and to operate on Transition Town principles. We still expect it to be carbon-neutral but about half of the flowers will come from nurseries in Lincoln and Norfolk, and some will come from the Netherlands. We would like to grow a supply chain from growers in Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire, but this will take a couple of years to establish.
The proprietor has been training in floristry and flower-arranging. He’s not very good at the names yet but seems to have a flair for arranging flowers.