Pavlic's Florist opened before Destin was a city. 50 years later, it's still going strong
For five decades, Becky Pavlic Edge has been cutting and arranging flowers for the people of Destin.
"Today is the day. At 9 o'clock this morning, I have been open for 50 years. I have to be out of my mind," Edge said with a smile on her face as she stood in the work room of Pavlic's Florist and Gifts on Tuesday morning.
Edge opened the florist shop on Oct. 25, 1972, in a 12-by-24 trailer on U.S. 98, before Destin was even a city, in front of where the Red Door Saloon is now.
In the early days, Edge said she used to walk across the street every morning to the Post Office at U.S. 98 and Melvin Street and say hello and have a cup of coffee.
"I was supposed to open at 9, and here I am still talking to everybody at a quarter to 10," Edge said.
"But our little fishing village is not what it used to be," she said.
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Edge said her first customer was Muriel Destin, mother of now City Councilman Dewey Destin.
"She loved red roses. ... She would send red roses to every funeral, that's all she wanted. She was a sweet lady, we'd just sit and talk and laugh," Edge said.
Finding its place in Destin
Since that small trailer on U.S. 98, the business moved east to the other side of where Landshark's Pizza is now. After a couple of years there, Pavlic's found a permanent home in 1985 at 116-A Benning Drive behind Sexton's Seafood Market.
"We've been in this spot for 35 years," said the 77-year-old florist who shows no signs of slowing down.
Just last week, she and her manager, Tammy Valentin, were extremely busy, between homecoming at Choctawhatchee High and Fort Walton Beach High, a wedding and a funeral for longtime resident Ken Beaird.
"That was a crazy day, but we survived," Edge said.
As busy as that was, Edge said the three busiest times each year for a florist are Mother's Day, Valentine's and Christmas, with Mother's Day topping the list.
"Everybody remembers momma," Edge said
"Plus, everybody has a momma, but not everybody has a valentine," Valentin added.
On Mother's Day, Edge said they sometimes work from 7 a.m. until midnight to get all the orders done. Some of her family often comes in to help on those big days.
Flowers are a family business
But working with flowers has always been a family business for Edge.
Her parents ran a florist shop in Fort Walton Beach for 30 years, but she made her move to Destin in the early 1970s because Destin was starting to grow.
"I think dad would be very proud that I made it to 50," Edge said, noting her father delivered flowers until he was 82.
"He loved delivering the flowers because all the ladies would hug on him. He loved it," Edge said.
And Edge is quite the hugger herself, as she loves her customers.
"We've been blessed with good customers," she said.
Over the years, she has helped families celebrate birthdays, weddings and funerals.
"That's the one bad part is dealing with families … trying to help families and keep it together," Edge said.
"I'm so sentimental. I cry at the Hallmark commercials," she said.
"When Muriel (Destin) died, Nina (Muriel's daughter) came in and we hugged and cried," she said.
"You just try to keep it together and move on," Edge said.
Not slowing down anytime soon
And Edge is all about moving and keeping it going. The pandemic didn't even slow Pavlic's down.
"We stayed open during the pandemic. People sent flowers because they couldn't see their relatives or their loved ones," she said.
"We did what we could … and survived. The Lord has been good to us," Edge said.
"In this crazy business, you can work as long as you want to. There is no prerequisite that you have to retire at a certain year," she said.
"My doctor says I've got good genes. I might be around another 20 years," Edge said.