For 47 years, Pavlic’s Florist and Gifts in Destin has been offering that “family-run, hometown” touch to customers for those special moments in their lives.

DESTIN — If you come in to buy flowers, don’t be surprised if you get a hug before you get out the door.

For 47 years, Pavlic’s Florist and Gifts in Destin has been offering that “family-run, hometown” touch to customers for those special moments in their lives.

Rebecca Pavlic Edge opened the florist in 1972 in a 12-by-24-foot trailer on U.S. Highway 98 in front of where the Red Door Saloon now stands.

In the early days Edge said she used to walk across the street every morning to the post office at the corner of U.S. 98 and Melvin Street to say hello and have a cup of coffee.

“I miss that,”  the 73-year-old said. “We’re not a small fishing village anymore.”

Edge recalls her first customer was Muriel Destin, mother of Dewey Destin, who still trades with her today.

“She bought a plant. That’s all I remember," Edge said. "We didn’t have a whole lot of flowers when we first opened.”

The business moved east to the other side of where Landshark’s Pizza is now located. After a couple years there, Pavlic’s found a permanent home in 1985 at 116-A Benning Drive behind Sexton’s Seafood Market.

“We have customers who have been with us forever,” said Edge, who noting she has watched children grow up and provided flowers for their proms and even weddings.

But Edge is quick to attribute her success to the “love of people.”

“You never know whether it’s a young man who’s fallen in love or a gentleman who comes in and loves his wife dearly, or if it’s family that comes in and says, 'We need your help. Mom just died.' You just never know," she said. "You just have to love people in order to do it. The hardest part is dealing with a family that’s lost somebody.

“If you don’t love doing this job, you don’t need to be in it,” she added.

The florist business is long hours and hard work.

“Lifting buckets with tons of water, heavy plants, working 900 hours on a holiday week and you never have a holiday you can call your own,” Edge said.

Edge and her manager Tammy Valentin even work Christmas.

Pavlic’s three biggest holidays are Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Edge said people may forget their mother all year long, her birthday and such, but not on Mother’s Day.

Traffic is an issue, particularly in the summer. It can take two hours to deliver something that usually would only take an hour.

In the first few years, seven to 10 deliveries was a busy day. Two years ago for Mother’s Day, Edge said they had 212 deliveries in one day.

"We were slinging all night,” Edge said.

"You work that whole week and then the last day, the last two days are killer,” Valentin said.