ROCKFORD — After nearly a century of adding beauty to countless weddings, anniversaries, homecoming dances and other special occasions, Broadway Florist, 4224 Maray Drive, is going out of business.
The floral shop will close in mid-October, according to business owner Michelle Stocker.
“The business is getting harder to run as prices keep going up and wages keep going up for part-time unskilled laborers,” Stocker said. “But, also, even finding skilled people in the industry to work is difficult. It’s a trade, obviously, and not a lot of people are in that industry right now.”
Stocker said Broadway Florist currently employs eight full- and part-time workers. She said the fact that her lease on Maray Drive is expiring soon was another factor in her decision to close.
Broadway Florist has been at its current location since early 2014 after Stocker purchased the business in December 2013. The shop opened in 1929 and operated in the city’s Broadway business district for more than 80 years before Stocker moved the business.
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Stocker says the last eight years are ones she’ll never forget.
“With the floral industry, you make a lot of memories, whether it be weddings or anniversaries or that person who’s coming in to get flowers for when he proposes,” she said. “Just hearing all of those stories is what makes it satisfying knowing you’re doing a good job.”
Customers took to social media once they heard about the closing.
“Sad. Another iconic business closing. Good luck in your future endeavors. You will be missed by many,” Cindy Hodyniak posted on Broadway Florist’s Facebook page.
“I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve received many beautiful arrangements from your store,” Erin Sturm added.
Broadway Florist’s final day of business has not been announced. Stocker said the shop still has to create floral arrangements for some upcoming weddings and homecoming dances.
The store is also offering all of its fall, Christmas, Easter and summer decor for half price.
For now, Broadway Florist is open from 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and from 7 am to 2 pm on Saturday.
Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, [email protected] or @DeCosterKen.