Judy Whittemore and Delores Tschudin

Judy’s Flower Basket owner Judy Whittemore, right, and longtime employee Delores Tschudin.

After 40 years in business on Festus Main Street, Judy’s Flower Basket is closing its doors.

“I want to be out of here by Nov. 30,” said owner Judy Whittemore, who is retiring. “I’ve already sold the building,” she said.

Whittemore, who will be 70 in March, said she has “no idea” what will replace her business. “But I know it’s not a flower shop.”

She said she started her business at 202 Main St. when she was 29. “I wanted to hold on until my 40th anniversary.”

The shop will have a clearance sale until its last day. “Right now we’re offering 50-75 percent off,” she said.

“It’s 40 years of accumulation,” she said, “because I never got rid of anything. I just always find a use for everything.”

Among items for sale are silk flower arrangements and a variety of wedding equipment. Over the years, Whittemore’s daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law have all worked with her. And although she has had as many as 10 employees, she now has five. “Some of them have been with me as long as 30 years.”

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