Meet the Mum behind Luxury Fruit Baskets

13 March 2019

March is officially the month to honour Mum’s and special women in our lives who have really made a difference. With Mother’s Day just around the corner on March 31st this year, here at Luxury Fruit Baskets we wanted to take some time to focus on one of the most important, beautiful and influential woman in our life – Dorothy Starling.

Getting to know Dorothy Starling

Dorothy was born in 1944 in Swaffham, and grew up in the market town. A true Norfolk girl, Dorothy loves the Norfolk coastline especially Hunstanton. A keen photographer she is often spotted with her camera and has even had one of her fantastic photos featured in a magazine. If she is not visiting the coast on her day off taking photographs of our beautiful coastline, she can be found plane spotting - especially near RAF Marham. We arranged a trip around the base for Dorothy one day and she managed to see inside a Tornado -  a favourite plane of hers, second only to Concorde One!  Dorothy and her husband Basil enjoyed a flight on Concorde, although confessed to feeling slightly air sick.

Kim's Mum Dorothy


In the earlier 1960’s Dorothy met and married Basil Starling, who was a local businessman and town councillor, also born and bred in Swaffham. The pair had a shared love for the local community and was involved in many groups including Swaffham Church Choir, Chess Club and Rotary. To this day, Dorothy is still a strong member of the church choir and also serves on the social committee. Dorothy joined the family business Starlings of Swaffham in 1962, which Basil had grown as a successful Greengrocers Fruiterers and Florist since being demobbed after the Second World War.

Surrounded by Norfolk’s finest growers and fresh produce meant the Swaffham business flourished and word soon got out about the high quality products and friendly service. Dorothy’s natural talent with colours and design led her to learn floristry skills and grow the flower side of the business, but her favourite has always been creating our unique Luxury Fruit Baskets. From seasonal window dressing to floral funeral tributes and of course the fruit baskets, Dorothy’s passion and artistic eye means her creations are always the talk of the town.

Due to ill health Basil retired in 1985 and although Dorothy continued to work part time at Starlings of Swaffham for the next 12 years, it was leased to a former employee. In 1997, daughter Kim returned to Norfolk and took over the business with the support and guidance from mum and dad - whose knowledge was invaluable in making it the success it is today.

Dorothy loves the summer season when her favourite fruits – strawberries and raspberries – are at their finest, and she can often be caught red handed snacking on a few of these beauties behind the counter! Although surrounded by lush produce and seasonal fruit all day, Dorothy actually has a sweet tooth so chocolate is the perfect present. If we ever want to spoil Dorothy with flowers we source the freshest Mimosas, a tropical flower which is her all-time favourite. 

A special thank you to Dorothy from daughter Kim and the team

So for this year’s Mothering Sunday, we have planned something extra special for Dorothy as a massive thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Dorothy loves eating out at independent cafes and restaurants, so we have planned a magical mystery tour just for her – staying overnight at a lovely Norfolk  hotel and enjoying some of the finest food around. After she has finished crafting all those Mother’s Day Luxury Fruit Baskets for customers that is ….

Kim's Mum Dorothy and the team at Luxury Fruit Baskets


Meet the Mum behind Luxury Fruit Baskets