After 18 years of dressing Windham with tulips, roses, petunias and other flowers, Linda’s Flowers is closing its doors. Owner Linda Nadeau sold the property to Windham Jewelers owners Kathy and Tom Byrne last Friday.

“I guess I’m beginning a new chapter in my life,” Nadeau said of her retirement from the flower business.

This brings to an end the legacy of the flower shop in Windham. Nadeau bought the shop from Bill Crane who had run his own floral business, Crane’s Flowers, for years in the same location. Nadeau admits she didn’t know much about flowers or the running of a business when she first bought the shop, but quickly learned.

“It took me about fourth months to become proficient at it,” Nadeau said. “Of course, I did it six days a week and even while sleeping.”

The flower shop grew in popularity, selling over 5,000 roses each Valentine’s Day, and evolved to include tuxedo and limousine rentals, catering to the many weddings that took place around the lakes each year.

“There were a lot of interesting projects that we did,” Nadeau said. “The people, they could go have gone to Wal-mart or Shaw’s or Hannaford, but they opted to come to us. I’d like to think that was because of the quality and care that we gave to people.”

As she retires, Nadeau said she will miss the daily interaction with her customers and the “range of emotion” that came through her doors each day with people buying flowers for funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other occasions or non-occasions.

“It was fabulous, absolutely fabulous,” Nadeau said of the experience. “But it was a lot of hard work. The most difficult thing for me was finding a balance between family and work. But it can be done.”

The building’s new owners, Kathy and Tom Byrnes, are excited about the future of Windham Jewelers and the prime location of the property. Windham Jewelers has neighbored Linda’s Flower shop since they moved to their Route 302 location in 1986.

Windham Jewelers has been a family-owned and operated jewelry store for over 30 years with many of the Byrnes’ daughters helping out with the business.

“We try to be hometown jewelers,” Kathy Byrnes said. “We specialize in the customer. If we don’t have it, we’ll try to get it. People are always amazed when they see the inventory we have.”

Windham Jewelers designs, sells and repairs a wide variety of jewelry with everything from diamonds to custom-jewelled pendants. Currently, they are designing jewelry to be sold on the World Poker Tour. Their niece’s husband is competing in this year’s tour.

The Byrnes say that they still have not decided what they are going to do yet with the property.

As for Nadeau, with the worries of the small business world now behind her, she plans to soak in her retirement spending more time with her husband Roland relaxing on the lake.

From left, Linda Nadeau, Tom Byrnes and Kathy Byrnes stand on the steps of Linda’s Flowers. The Byrnes, who own Windham Jewelers, have bought the property from Nadeau who has retired from the flower business.

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