01/13/2014 08:55 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Mile End flower shop rises from the ashes

A popular Mile-End flower shop is back in business months after it was destroyed by a fire.

Dragon Flowers, a Bernard Street institution much-loved by local residents, is open once again thanks in part to an outpouring of donations through a crowdfunding website.  

Last April, fire caused extensive damage to Tamey Lau’s shop, which she’s run for 25 years.

“I cried a lot, I suffered a lot,” says Lau.

Neighbourhood residents set up a Facebook page and started raising funds online with a goal of $10,000. Within a day, they surpassed that goal and ended up raising more than $15,000 for Lau.

She says she would not have been able to re-open the shop without her neighbourhood’s assistance.

But what comes around, goes around.

Her customers say contributing to the shop’s revival is a way to give back to someone who’s known for slipping a little something extra in with purchases.

“She would always give me an extra flower, an extra rose. Or if I brought the kids, she'd give each of them a little rose,” says Manuel Carreiro.

“It's not about the transaction, it's about the person," he added.

Lau still has debts to pay, but she’s not worried about the future of Dragon Flowers.

“Dragons for the Chinese people bring good luck and good energy,” she says.

And if her luck runs a little thin, there’s lots of neighbourly love to keep her going.

“I believe if you take care of the people, the people give back all their love,” she says.