Yeongdeungpo Underground Shopping Mall, where countless people busily come and go.
As you walk through a giant store that carries everything, fatigue follows.
But, passing by shops which are opened and shut down day by day, something drew my attention.
Flowers. The colorful small chrysanthemums were as bright as if someone had turned on a light.
Flowers looks fresh and healthy. Mrs. owner goes to Namdaemun market early every morning for them.
I asked if it was too tiresome to bring the flowers every day,
and they answered, “We are doing it as a workout, for our health. Wouldn’t it be too tiring if we did it as a work?”
As I looked around, I found a sign. <Midofa Flower never uses refrigerated flowers>
Midado flower shop is famous all over the Yeongdeungpo underground shopping center,
and I’m beginning to understand why.
Each person will have their own taste or standard for flowers.
Your favorite flower can vary from season to season.
Tulips for spring and red roses or yellow chrysanthemums for autumn.
There are many varieties of flower, and public taste advances and subdivides,
but I still like the simple ones.
Who cares about what others think? On autumn days, big, vivid sunflowers are the best.
Even after being founded in Yeongdeungpo Underground Shopping Mall, there were big and small crises,
but the key to enduring each of them was "sticking to the principle”.
Midofa Flower Shop is open from 8 AM in the morning to 11 PM in the evening, 365 days a year,
even on weekends or holidays.
They couldn’t close early like other vendors, since there were people seeking flowers after getting done with work.
“I’m sure that we are the only flower shop in the country that closes at 11 PM.”
Maybe it is a good choice to close late if we think of foot traffic in Yeongdeungpo Underground Shopping Mall,
but it still seems special to keep the business open for a very long period of time.
The owner of Midofa Flower Shop, who is over 80 years old, speaks strongly,
“It’s of tiresome course. But how would you achieve success by doing the same as others?
There is a reason why we don’t keep our flowers refrigerated.
Our customers know, too. By doing this, the flowers don’t wither easily and keep their beauty for a longer period of time.
Sure, not keeping the flowers refrigerated is very hard and irritating work.
But we just want our customers to enjoy our flowers longer, in their best state.”
Midofa Flower Shop, which is celebrating their 40th anniversary, recently had a happy event.
In recognition of its history and tradition, it was selected as the ‘Long-standing Shop’, 2019.
‘Long-standing Shop’, carries the meaning of ‘wishing long-standing shops to stand much longer’
and is a priority status given to shops that have been in business for more than 30 years
or that have been inherited at least once.
The selected long-lived shops will be actively promoted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government like last year
and will be developed as tourist stops for domestic and foreign tourists.
Midado Flower Shop is also a café that sells hand drip Americano coffee and fresh fruit juice.
Over the years, it was difficult to make a profit by only selling flowers because they maintained their prices low,
even when the market price rose steeply.
It is already famous for the taste of its coffee, that it is as good as the quality of the flowers they sell.
I curiously ordered a cup of coffee, and found pretty flower drawings on the cup holder.
How about enjoying a cup of hand-drip Americano with beautiful flowers
if you visit Yeongdeungpo Underground Shopping Mall?
Written and photographed
by 2019 Seoul Storytelling Group, Kang Eun Hye