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NEWS: Main Street fixture up for sale

By Anna Killen Its not uncommon to see a handwritten sign reading No Change on the front door of a small business.
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By Anna Killen

Its not uncommon to see a handwritten sign reading No Change on the front door of a small business.

But Mary Lum, the 71-year-old owner of Rainbow Flowers on Main Street, only recently posted her sign after she was robbed and attacked by a man who asked her for change last October.

It happened so fast, says Lum, standing behind the counter of the flower shop she has owned for 23 years. He just grabbed the till and then hit me.

He didnt know I was as strong as I was. Im pretty steady on my feet. she says. I yelled at my husband and he got scared and ran out.

She followed him outside and asked someone with a cellphone to call the police while another man on a bike rode after him.

Police arrived quickly and arrested a 33-year-old man and charged him with robbery.

Lum had bruises on her back and arms after the incident. But the real toll has been emotional, she says.

Ive been nervous, she says. I close early. I dont feel safe anymore. Id never think a flower shop would get robbed.

Now she is looking for someone to buy her shop so she can retire. She put it on the market in December and is determined to sell it as a flower shop.

It is part of Main Street, she says, her fingers stained yellow with pollen from arranging flowers. There used to be quite a few, but Im the only one left on this side of the street up until Southwest Marine Drive.

Lum has been in the flower business for 53 years.

Her family owned Canada Produce, a market on South Granville, for three generations and she and her husband ran it from 1953-1988.

When they sold the store and retired, Lum quickly realized she couldnt sit still and opened Rainbow Flowers as a hobby.

She says crime in the area has increased over the years.

Vancouver Police Const. Jana McGuiness says violent crime has actually been decreasing in Vancouver for several years and VPD statistics show that this is the case for the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood as well but she understands the long-lasting impact of violent crime.

A person who has been the victim of such acrime will find little comfort in [downward trends in violent crime stats]. There is an emotional toll that can last for many years when someone has suffered through a violent crime.

Lum is not sure when the store will sell or what she will do after. Its one day at a time for me. she says. Anyways, my family always says how come youre still working? she says. Time to move on Ive gotta give it up sometime, eh?