Someone just gave a Toronto shop a 2-star review for paying their staff a living wage
A top-rated Toronto flower shop was recently slammed with a two-star review after a customer criticized the owner's decision to provide staff with a living wage.
Sweetpea's, located at 163 Sterling Road Unit 189, is an eco-focused floral design studio that's been offering fresh floral arrangements, including bouquets and event displays for over a decade.
The flower shop was previously located on Roncesvalles Avenue, but was forced to relocate with only a few months' notice after experiencing lease issues late last year.
The review, which was posted over the weekend, directly called out the business for giving employees a raise while at the same time hiking prices for floral arrangements.
"I gave up on Sweetpea's the day they smugly announced what a virtuous company they were by giving their employees raises - while at the same time announcing they were raising prices to pay for those raises," the negative review reads.
"I think they did it because in a post-pandemic world, hiking salaries was the only way to retain employees."
Shortly after, the shop's owner, Sara Jameson, responded to the review and clearly laid out why the decision was made.
"As the owner of the shop, I take great offence to your review and, I'm certain my team would as well. Paying a living wage is the right thing to do. Plain and simple," the response reads.
"The choice to provide a living wage was a big one. This industry is notoriously competitive. It is undervalued in so many ways, which causes flower shop owners to drop their prices in order to battle each other for scraps," Jameson wrote.
"I have sometimes wondered if the fact that the floral industry is predominantly women, and the patriarchy has conditioned society to undervalue us as a whole, but that is a deeper discussion to have. Why should florists have to take two to three additional jobs, simply to cover the costs of living? We are talking housing, food, and basic necessities."
Jameson wrote that her decision to provide staff with a living wage came after she witnessed multiple people on the team struggle to find adequate apartments in Toronto.
"I was writing reference letters and calling landlords to put in a good word. These places were barely livable. We are talking single rooms, without places to properly prepare food, or get clean," the response continues.
"I have had several single mums working for me, and they were asking for certain mornings off, because those were the best to wait in line for the food bank," Jameson wrote.
"Personally, I would prefer to pay a price that allows someone to buy milk for their kid, or an apartment that isn't infested with bed bugs."
The shop owner has been candid about the floral shop's struggles in the past, and even posted a GoFundMe campaign late last year after the store's lease was not renewed and the business was forced to relocate.
"I am doing my best to make the best of things, but the daunting task of relocating has been overwhelming; after an already challenging and tiring journey," the campaign reads.
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