June 12, 2024

Meet Hermina Bevilacqua of Camberwell Florist in Camberwell Junction

A passion for sourcing beautiful flowers and being part of the local community for more than 30 years embodies everything about Camberwell Florist.

The Dutch Masters painters inspired floral art hints at the vibe of the business, which is based at Camberwell Fresh Food Market.

The business embodies sustainability, creativity, colour, fragrance and of course, a joy in the beauty of flowers.

Camberwell Florist is owned and run by Hermina and Joe Bevilacqua.

Ms Bevilacqua’s childhood on a farm in Yackandandah sparked an early interest in growing flowers.

“We were self-sufficient, growing fruits, vegetables and managing livestock,” she said.

“We had a botanical flower garden, and I suppose it was this upbringing that gave me the passion and experience to own a flower shop.”

Ms Bevilacqua’s business degree and office management experience provided the necessary skills to turn her passion into a thriving business.

A family affair

Ms Bevilacqua has been running Camberwell Florist with her husband Joe since 1992.

“Joe and I were married at the Our Lady of Victories Basilica, Camberwell, in 1991. We’ve known each other more than half of our lives,” she said.

Mr Bevilacqua’s family had a poultry business in Camberwell from the late 1970s, so the couple has a long connection to the local area.

Together the couple choose in-season flowers for their store, and both are passionate about ensuring they meet the needs of their customers.

“Every flower that comes into the store is hand-picked by Joe and me,” Ms Bevilacqua said.

“We love working with colours and textures to create arrangements where the overall look is stunning, but upon looking more closely into the arrangement the viewer will see details to delight the senses.”

The blooms available at Camberwell Florist change as the seasons change.

“That results in each arrangement being unique and new,” Ms Bevilacqua said.

“Each customer has their own reason for wanting flowers. Our job is to meet their needs, creating flowers that will put a smile on their face.”

Sharing the joy with flowers

Anyone who has shopped at Camberwell Florist’s beautiful space at Camberwell’s Fresh Food Market will know the joy with which they create their arrangements.

Ms Bevilacqua has worked in the private and public sector but loves working in a family-run business.

“Owning a business gives you the freedom and motivation to succeed – especially in a family business, because you’re collaborating and supporting each other,” she said.

“The working environment is more relaxed and fun, and there’s also flexibility in the working day.  We have two adult children, and they have experienced the trials and successes which has taught them to be resilient.”

Ms Bevilacqua said working as a florist is never boring, with each day different from the last and bringing something new to learn.

“It’s really important to keep learning about your craft,” she said.

“Whether it’s learning about sustainable practices or floral techniques, there is always something new to learn in the world of floristry. That’s what makes working with flowers so exciting.”

Community pride

Ms Bevilacqua loves being based at the Camberwell Fresh Food Market.

“It’s a place where family businesses work hard with pride to offer a quality product,” she said.

“We love being part of the Camberwell community.  And the locals love having the market as a place to shop and connect.”

Supporting locally grown products and local farmers is also a core value of Camberwell Florist, as well as being able to provide these flowers to her wide-ranging clientele.

“Flowers are a gift from nature, they appeal to everyone,” Ms Bevilacqua said.

“Flowers are used to celebrate occasions, send messages of support and congratulate a success – and so much more!

“Locals love coming in to say hi and choose their favourite flowers to enjoy at home. Even when they are on their summer holidays on the coast, they’ll come back and stock up on their flowers to take back to their holiday homes.”

Value for money and quality flowers that last are what keep customers coming back, Ms Bevilacqua said.

She is very proud of her hard-working team and the family business she has run for 32 years, and hopes to continue bringing joy to people through flowers.

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