When longtime owner of The Flower Basket Sue Stetner decided it was time to retire a little over three years ago, her daughter Ashley Ko contacted her sister Kristin Mead urging her to take over the business and go in as partners.
Growing up in the floral business, the sisters couldn’t pass up the opportunity to keep the business in the family. Both sisters missed the business and flowers when they were away from it. While living in Massachusettes for three years, Ko would grab a bundle of flowers once a week to put in her home.
A big part of the decision for Mead was the family aspect. Working alongside her sister, mother and father was important for her, said Mead, adding, “there are difficulties that come from working with your family, but it’s also a blessing.”
Stetner bought the business when Mead was just a junior in high school, but had been working in the shop since she was in kindergarten. The original location, at 109 F St. SE, remains in addition to the new location inside the new Quincy Public Market, about one mile to the west.
Even after retiring from the shop, Stetner still helps with day-to-day business and played a big role in the new public market location. The shop employs about 10 people, all of them working part time, said Mead. A lot of people like working with flowers, according to Mead, with Ko adding, “they’re beautiful on their own, so it makes it easy to work with them.”
In the first year of ownership, Ko and Mead received help from their mother who helped with day-to-day business and provided advice for her daughters. Now in their third year of ownership, the sisters have a better understanding of what it takes to run the business.
“It takes a lot of energy and hours to run a floral business,” said Mead.
The new location in the public market, which opened in late May, was put together as a team effort from the sisters and their parents with long hours spent after hours designing and making the shop what it is today.
While the original location focuses on flowers and arrangements for weddings, funerals, birthdays or any other event someone may want flowers for, the market location is focused more on home décor and gifts. However, the market shop sells some loose flowers and wraps, according to Ko and Mead.
The sisters enjoyed designing and building their newest location in the market with the help of their parents, and Mead especially likes the open floor plan. The sisters included a small yellow table just outside the shop in the market, which is quite popular, said Mead. She tries to build a small centerpiece arrangement every week for customers and market goers to enjoy.
“I’m really excited and I really enjoy our new space over there because it is pretty,” said Ko. “We were able to create it ourselves … that was fun to be able to come in with a blank slate.”
By Miles King, email@example.com