Burgess Florist – Over a Century of History

Story About Burgess Florist told by Geoff Burgess:
“My great aunt Kate Burgess, had a laundry business in Durban in the early 1900s

About Burgess Florist - our history goes back to 1913


Burgess Florist in Mercury Lane 1913

Kate Burgess grew herbs in her garden to perfume through laundry before it was collected by her customers.  She would put lavender leaves and wild flowers between the clothing, sheets and other laundry items.  Gradually customers started asking her for plants and she started a small nursery. This became very popular. It soon evolved into floristry. In 1913 she sold the laundry and opened a florist shop in Mercury Lane, a small lane between West and Smith Street in Central Durban.  It was called Miss Burgess Florists. 

Kate’s nephew (my grandfather Frank Burgess) took it over several years later.  He was extremely successful. He changed the name to Burgess Florist and he purchased and developed a number of farms to produce the flowers and foliage. They were in Westville, Richmond and Pietermaritzburg.

The business was taken over by his 2 sons, Roy and Paddy. Burgess Florist was part of the original group that developed Interflora in Southern Africa. The florist shop moved to 89 Broad Street in about 1965, and then to Westville in about 1990.  It then moved into the Pavilion when the Pavilion first opened.  By then it was being run by Paddy’s sons. The Burgess had branched out into various businesses such as Landscaping and Nurseries.

The Florist was eventually sold it to Debi French in 2009. Who continues the Burgess Florist legacy with pride”

And the story continues…….

Debi and Traci – sisters and best friends.  –

Debi and Traci- sister team of Burgess Florist


Debi has owned Burgess Florist in the Pavilion Westville for more than a decade. Her passion for people and flowers grew this little flower shop into a special magical place where people visited and reordered their flowers month after month.

Traci then joined her older sister in this beautiful venture and the business continued to thrive. In 2021 Debi had to make a difficult choice to follow the love of her life to the UK, leaving behind her gem of a flower shop in the hands of her sister Traci. With this very important legacy to uphold, Traci continues to serve the loyal customers from all around the world.

Meet the Burgess Florist Family

Traci owner Burgess Florist

Traci – Owner

Let’s talk about Traci, the dedicated owner of Burgess Florist, who took over the shop a few years ago from her incredible sister, Debi, who relocated to the UK. Traci assumes the important role of handling all customer inquiries, fostering relationships with our valued regular clients, and thoroughly enjoys the social aspect of owning a flower shop. With a background in accounting and marketing, Traci excels in the administrative aspects of the business, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. She holds the entire operation together and works tirelessly to keep us thriving and relevant in the market. Constantly seeking new and innovative ways to stay fresh, Traci actively engages with corporate businesses while simultaneously serving the public with the utmost care and attention. Her dedication to the success of Burgess Florist is unwavering.

Shawn Burgess Florist Driver

Shawn – Driver

Meet Shawn, the wonderful flower delivery guy who has been an integral part of Burgess Florist since 2009. With his unwavering loyalty, reliability, and genuine passion for his job, Shawn brings joy to every doorstep he visits. He adores the opportunity to meet our delighted recipients and takes pleasure in creating meaningful connections with our regular clients, remembering each one by name and their unique life stories. His warm-hearted nature and approachable demeanor make him a beloved member of our team.

Grace Burgess Florist

Grace – Florist

Let’s talk about Grace, our extraordinary soul who has graced Burgess Florist with her presence for over ten years. Her infectious laughter has the power to brighten anyone’s day and bring a smile to their face. Grace’s talent for creating breathtaking floral arrangements is simply awe-inspiring, and we consider ourselves truly blessed to have her as a cherished member of our Burgess Family. When it comes to dependability, honesty, and a great sense of humor, Grace is the one we can always count on. We adore her beyond measure and appreciate the joy she brings to our lives.

Nelly Burgess Florist

Neli – Florist

Let’s shine the spotlight on Neli, our incredible and immensely talented florist, who has been an integral part of Burgess Florist for over a decade. Nelly may be the quiet one, but when her laughter fills the room, it’s like a burst of sunshine. Her reliability, friendliness, and dependability make her a true gem to have on our team. Nelly consistently goes above and beyond, pouring her heart and soul into every creation she brings to life. Our customers absolutely adore her stunning floral arrangements and relish the opportunity to have a chat with her. Nelly’s presence adds an extra touch of warmth and joy to our shop, making her an invaluable member of our Burgess family.

Burgess Florist Team

Julie – Marketing

Let’s give a warm welcome to Julie, the newest addition to our Burgess Florist Team, bringing her expertise to the realm of marketing and social media. Despite being new, Julie has seamlessly integrated herself into our fabulous team, becoming a regular little helper to everyone around. Her sweetness and caring nature shine through in every interaction, as she attentively listens to everyone’s stories and experiences. Julie possesses an abundance of patience and is always ready to lend a helping hand at a moment’s notice. Her warm and kind personality radiates throughout the shop, creating a nurturing and supportive environment for all. We’re truly fortunate to have Julie on board, and we look forward to the wonderful contributions she will make to our team and the Burgess Florist family.

Burgess Florist Team

Sindy – Assistant Florist

Let’s introduce you to Sindy, a trainee florist who happens to be Nelly’s sister. Over the past few years, Sindy has blossomed into a remarkable individual, full of life and radiating cheerfulness wherever she goes. Her talent for crafting stunning floral arrangements has grown and flourished, making her a truly gifted young lady. Although she may not be with us full-time, Sindy eagerly lends a helping hand during our busiest days of the year and willingly steps in whenever there is a need. Her commitment and dedication to the team are truly commendable, and we are fortunate to have her by our side. Sindy’s awesomeness adds an extra spark to our shop, and we appreciate all the invaluable contributions she makes to the Burgess Florist family.