Gryphon Living

Thomas Hobbs Florist in Kerrisdale

Luxurious English Garden Florals

October 1, 2018

Miniature bouquets billowing gently in the breeze beckoned us to enter.


We were greeted by Helen, whose floral shirt dress matched the dreamy florals that filled the shop. Today we share a conversation with the current operator and owner of the historic Thomas Hobbs Florist, which was established over 40 years ago by Thomas Hobbs.


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale
Helen Rivera, owner of Thomas Hobbs Florist

Though the shop has changed hands a few times, the iconic facade and the aromatic florals keep the experience consistent for regulars and passerby. Thomas Hobbs first founded the company in 1975. He was the owner and operator for 10 years, after which Maureen Sullivan took over and ran it for 25 years, and now Helen Rivera has been at the helm for the past 4 years.

A well-known name throughout the City of Vancouver, we can find beautiful arrangements by Thomas Hobbs Florist at the Wall Centre, Cactus Club on Burrard, and within various corporate offices and events.


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale
The colourful floral selections in Thomas Hobbs


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale


Vibrant purples, intense reds, popping yellows drew our mesmerized eyes to every corner of the room. The cooler housed unique florals that stand out from the regular roses.

Designed arrangements allow you to spontaneously pick up a piece to liven up your home, both with its sweetly scented aromas and eye-catching colours.


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale


We sat down with Helen, the current owner of Thomas Hobbs, to learn more about the craft that defines her “Art of Living” and the history and evolution of Thomas Hobbs Florist – a well-known mainstay of the Kerrisdale community. It’s where the community buys their weekly bouquets for their kitchen, dining table or patio. Over the years, its artistic flair had transcended to the community’s spirit, contributing to the neighbourhood’s artistic vibe and adding beauty to the resident’s lives.  

For Helen, her “Art of Living” is immersing herself in the intricate textures and vibrant colours of the season’s fresh blooms. She has been a floral design hobbyist for years, and her day job as a school teacher was put on hold after taking on the Thomas Hobbs legacy over 4 years ago. The previous owner, Maureen Sullivan, had been Helen’s instructor at the Vancouver Floral Design School. When they were looking for someone to extend the Thomas Hobbs legacy, Helen excitedly stepped up to the plate to pursue the craft she loves.

When asked about the style of florals one would find at Thomas Hobbs, Helen shared that they are known for English Garden styles, where the colours are vibrant and the arrangements are in a rounded shape.

Helen says that the hardest part of the business is finding staff who want to work in the floral industry. Plus, it’s not all done after the interview and handshake, as the new employee would then require 2-3 months of training to learn the art and craft of floral arrangements.

When asked how it feels to transition from the hands-on, creative side of the business to the more ‘business and management’ side, Helen says that the amount of administration and operations was definitely unexpected, but it’s been a big learning curve and she is still able to be creative but now in a more strategic capacity. Similar to other business owners, Helen finds herself learning everything from updating the website to creating brand graphics.


Gryphon Development Thomas Hobbs Kerrisdale


Planning for the year starts early, in January, where the team of 13 develops the concepts for each season and embarking on buying trips across North America, sourcing quality blooms for the shop.

Helen has also branched out by opening a second store that caters more to consumers who reside in apartments and condos called Wallflower in downtown Vancouver, making her craft and custom floral designs more accessible to city dwellers that may be too busy to enjoy and appreciate the simple things in life.

Her next milestones are to refresh the branding and perhaps set her sights on opening another location if she can find the staff.



We hope she does, so we can see more of their beautiful arrangements around town and in our homes! We thank Helen for taking the time to let us take an insider’s look a the iconic florist, one that has not only reached many milestones of its own but also witnessed many of life’s milestones for their customers in the Kerrisdale community.

Floral arrangements make beautiful art pieces that can effortlessly transform your home and add beauty to your life. Next time you are around Kerrisdale, we encourage you to take a moment to stop by Thomas Hobbs for a gentle whiff of the fragrant florals sitting at their storefront, or to appreciate the harmonious colours of the season’s fresh blooms.


To learn more about Thomas Hobbs Florist, visit their website here.