DOWAGIAC — A long-time Dowagiac business has closed its doors, but a new business has bloomed in its place.
After 38 years of selling flowers, Patty and Gary Booth of Booth’s Country Florist have decided to retire. The couple purchased the building at 111 Commercial St. in 1984. In the 38 years since, the family became an integral part of the community.
“We’ve had generations of families come through,” Gary said. “Grandparents, grandkids, all of them. It’s been a very, very sweet ride; Dowagiac has been unbelievably good to us.”
“I am thankful for the many years of business and the lifelong friendships we have made in this community,” Patty said.
Vickie Phillipson, owner of Cottage Gallery, 126 S. Front St., and former program director at Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, has fond memories of Patty taking care of the community.
“She’s been there for the celebrations of our family, of our life,” Phillipson said. “The birth of our children, their proms, graduations, weddings and as we’ve said goodbye to our loved ones. Patty has been there for all of our holidays – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas – and all of our birthdays and anniversaries.”
According to Phillipson, Patty has served Dowagiac as a longtime Chamber member and volunteer of its Retail and Pageant committees, and has contributed to countless school and community causes.
“For 38 wonderful years, Patty has made sure our celebrations of life are just as they should be – perfect moments in time that we will carry in our heart for a lifetime,” Phillipson said.
The Booths sold the building on Wednesday to Anna Gordon of Buchanan-based Flowers By Anna, who will open Flowers By Anna – Dowagiac in its place.
After learning of the Booth’s plans to retire, the City of Dowagiac distributed postcards to area florists inquiring about purchasing the Booth’s building.
“(Having a florist come in) was very important to us when we decided we were going to sell,” Gary said. “We do a tremendous business here, so we really wanted to see another flower shop come to town.”
Gordon has owned and operated Flowers By Anna for six years, nurturing it into a successful business that typically takes on roughly 100 weddings per year. The shop offers selections of flowers, succulents, balloons, stuffed animals and an assortment of other gifts.
“We’ve been growing very rapidly and ran out of space,” Gordon said. “We had planned to build a wedding studio next door, but the contractor pulled out of the project.”
Gordon said she received a postcard about the Booths’ impending retirement. While she was not initially looking to purchase another flower shop, Gordon felt the timing was right.
“We thought it would be a much better financial decision for us,” Gordon said. “(Booth’s) is the only flower shop in the whole area. They don’t have a competitive market like we do here. It’s nice to reach a whole different area. We’re excited to meet new faces and gain the trust that they had.”
Gordon said Flowers By Anna – Dowagiac will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting tomorrow. The store will soon be undergoing small renovations that will not impact its hours of operation before closing for major renovations next month, during which time it will still take phone and online orders.
Gordon hopes renovations will be completed by September and will host a grand opening ceremony.
While the closing process has been bittersweet, the Booths look forward to retirement and are happy the building will continue to be a floral business for years to come.
“We’re really excited that (Flowers by Anna) is coming to town and a couple of our employees are staying on,” Gary said. “That’s important to us. Dowagiac has been phenomenal to us.”
Gordon said that Flowers By Anna is hiring for the new Dowagiac location. Those interested in applying are asked to email Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.