Lyndhurst Florist, which has been owned by the same family since 1929, last closed on January 31.
Third-generation owner Thomas Santos, who operated the location with his sister, Sandra Uzell, told the Cleveland Jewish News the florist at 5268 Mayfield Road was a victim of a “changing world.”
“All the flowers now come out of South America, and rather than big chain stores buying only from South American growers, they’ve bought from those growers and are controlling the market and the prices,” he said. “So when holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day come around, the flowers go to the biggest outlets and freelancers like us come down the list. It’s a much bigger challenge for us small florists.
Lyndhurst Florist opened in 1923 and was operated by another family, until Santos’ grandmother Grace Piccino took over the business in 1929. The florist operated on Sunview Road for almost two decades after that, where he also had a few greenhouses, until he moved in 1946 to his house in Mayfield Road. His father, Al Santos, took over after World War II, Santos said, adding that his father designed the current building. Piccino died in 1975. When his father died in 1995, his mother ran the store until 2006. It was then that he and his sister began covering operations, although Santos helped the family business since 1968.
“We wanted to retire, but the fourth generation didn’t want to take over,” Santos, 70, said. “It’s age, but there are also supply chain issues that have plagued businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We just decided that even if the problem is short-term, it It will be another year or two before things get back to normal. It was just time for a change.”
After the January 31 closure, Santos said he had the next month to empty the building – which is full of “decades of memories”. In March, the space they own, as well as the business itself, will go on the market. He hopes they find someone to take him back, Santos said.
“We’re trying to find someone to carry the name,” he said. “Part of our success is a passion for work. I enjoyed my years there. When you put all your blood, sweat, and tears into something, it’s hard to let go. But, it was time. To our customers, thank you very much. We appreciate your patronage over the years.
As for what’s next, Santos said he was going to enjoy his retirement.
“I majored in art in college and will probably spend some free time painting,” he said. “I will stay active. I can’t sit still and do nothing.