SUMMERSIDE – As Cindy Robichaud stood and watched the former Kelly’s Flower Shoppe building being demolished, she couldn’t help but think of all of the people who walked through the doors.
“It’s the nostalgia of the place. I stood there and I hugged someone because they just welcomed their first grandchild. Or I held the crying mother who was getting flowers for their son’s funeral,” said the owner and manager of the store.
She added as a tear slid down her cheek, “There are hundreds of happy, sad and joyous memories associated with that building. It’s hard not to think of the people who spent so much time in that store.”
On Tuesday, crews from Waugh’s construction demolished the building, which was purchased by Consolidated Credit Union in Summerside earlier this year.
“It’s a very bittersweet moment,” added Robichaud.
“I thought of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly who started that place. Their heart and soul went into that store. And I know that feeling because I put my heart and soul into it too.”
But more than their heart and soul went into the store, according to Robichaud, who says the Kellys’ spirits have always been in the store.
“They would play tricks on us. Flowers would disappear like someone was working to put together an arrangement. An old radio station would play, even though we never had the radio playing. I think their connection has stayed with the old building, but their legacy lives on in the new store.”
Kelly’s Flower Shoppe moved to their new location at 505 Granville Street on April 3.
Wiping tears, Robichaud shared one of her final memories of the old store.
“It was the last night the place would be mine. It was April 2. As soon as the clock struck midnight, it would belong to someone else. So myself and one of my friends went down to the old shop and took photos. When I got home I looked through them and standing behind me in one of the windows was a figure of a woman.
“Now I never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Kelly, but people told me she always had a bun on her head. I don’t know if it was Mrs. Kelly in the window, but if it was, I think she was wishing me good luck. It’s like she finally got her home back.”
Sarah Millar, the general manager of Consolidated Credit Union, said there is no set plan for the property yet.
“This has been a long process since when we bought the building. When the building came up for sale, we were approached by a realtor and we felt it was an opportunity for future developments, but at this time we’re not sure what they are.”
After buying the property, the Credit Union consulted with the City of Summerside, Downtown Summerside and local historical societies to discuss the possible historical value of the building.
“We wanted to respect that there might be the need to preserve the building. But when we called an architect, to determine if there was historical value, they determined there wasn’t.”
But the building had fallen into disrepair and had become a danger.
So, a decision was made to demolish the building.
“Right now we’re not sure what it will become. It could be possible parking if we need it, or there is the possibility of green space, benches. We know we don’t want it to be an eyesore in the city.”