By Katy Fassler
Photos courtesy of Hobby Hill Florist

Hobby Hill Florist began in 1950 as a collective hobby of three ladies who lived on a hill. Over the years, Bill and Mary Paedae came on staff bringing their wonderfully artistic daughter, Ladonna, in 1975, who furthered the business with ideas, products, the Christmas House, and a love for the community. After 72 years of serving the Heartland area, Hobby Hill Florist is embarking on a new chapter. Ladonna Paedae Rodriguez has passed the torch to new owners, Brooke and Andrew McDermott.

Reflecting on her time at Hobby Hill, Ladonna says, “I will miss visiting with you, hearing how your children, grandchildren, and pets are doing, finding out where your vacation will take you, sharing in the joy of your child getting married, being there to hold your hand as we plan your parent’s final service flowers. I have trained the new owner, Brooke, for six months, so please say hello to her! Brooke is a creative, energetic mom, wife, friend, and businesswoman! I have learned in my 48 years as a florist, that I have provided more than just “flowers,” I have been able to connect in the deepest emotional way, and I am thankful to have been part of your lives.”„

To My Clients and Friends,

I am not quite sure of how to begin this letter except to simply say that with both gratitude and a touch of melancholy, I have sold Hobby Hill Florist. Not many businesses are around after 72 years, but here we are! With much dedication and hard work, we have continued the tradition begun in 1950!

Many of you will know the new owners: Brooke and Andrew McDermott. Brooke is the daughter of Lisa and the late Bruce Burley and is the granddaughter of Dr. Lee and Mrs. Burley. Andrew has a family member who has been in the floral industry. He owns and operates a very successful propeller business for airboats. They have two beautiful children: their son Liam is already excited to jump into the florist world while Elle will probably share her father’s interests. I hope you will welcome them and love them as you have me. Brooke has taken almost every design class that I offered and is full of passion, energy, and talent, and she will have Jonnie at her side to support, encourage and teach her as well. Jonnie has been in the florist industry since she was a teenager. What a talent!

I have appreciated your support, friendship and caring more than you may realize. I consider you all friends and will miss you, and I cherish every memory. I just know that my body and my heart are telling me that it is time to take it easier, to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, and to reflect and enjoy nature.

I hope you will share many new “life moments” with Brooke and Andrew and Jonnie, helping them to reach towards the 100th anniversary of Hobby Hill Florist!

Lastly, I hope you will remember my parents, Bill and Mary Paedae, as they were certainly the building blocks of this business. I am humbled that you have allowed me to thrive in my 48 years as your florist. Make every day bloom!

Ladonna Paedae Rodriguez

Colleen Queen and Abagail Queen
Colleen Queen and Abagail Queen
Colleen Queen and Abagail Queen

Visit Brooke at Hobby Hill Florist!

541 N Ridgewood Drive
Sebring, FL