When I heard that Frazier's Flowers and Gifts on Zetterower Avenue had been sold, I panicked, metaphorically.
One the reasons that I choose to use Zetterower, as opposed to an alternate route to downtown, is to see what name is on the Frazier's Flower marquis. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, each day a new name is posted on the marquis, and if it is yours, you can go in a claim your free premium rose.
New owner Shannon Lowe assured me the tradition would continue.
"The free rose is fabulous publicity for the shop," Lowe said. "Everybody knows that we are the home of the free rose. We have between five and 10 people every day that will come in for their rose. It's remarkable, and we have no intention of discontinuing it."
Lowe shared that he has worked in the florist industry for the last 12 years, and when the opportunity arose to purchase Frazier's, he and his wife decided it was time for them to become entrepreneurs.
"It has always been a dream of mine to have my own flower shop, and when Marjorie and John (Frazier) said they wanted to sell theirs, it just seemed like the perfect opportunity," he said. "I have to admit that we were scared about making the move into running our own business, but if you let fear rule your life, you are never going to do anything."
All of the employees remain with the company, including the shop's two designers. Lowe's wife Cindy is a nurse, but is able to help with behind-the-scenes tasks such as bookkeeping.
"Just like the Fraziers, this is going to be a very family oriented business," he said. "My wife is helping, and our daughter Emma Grace spends time with me in the shop each afternoon after school. She loves playing with flowers, and it is just great having her here."
Lowe said he will continue to provide the same level of service that customers of the shop are used to receiving. He is also going to put particular focus on growing the wedding side of the business.
"I feel like we have a lot of room to expand that part of the business," he said. "It is very hard work, but very rewarding."
As for the name on the marquis tomorrow - I bet that it is Jan, and if it is, I will be getting my free premium rose. The first one ever!
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org