For Rick Anthony, owner of Rick Anthony’s Flower Shoppe in Holt and Lansing, one of the best parts about being a florist is walking alongside his customers through some of their biggest moments in life.
“We’re involved in our customers’ personal lives—from their birth of their children to the death of their loved ones and all phases in between,” he said. “Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. They all want to do business with someone that they can trust.”
Anthony has built that trust with his customers over his 53 year career in the trade. He was born and raised in the flower business, and started working for his father’s florist shop, Jon Anthony’s Florist, when he was only 14 years old. When he turned 18, he started up his own florist shop on North Grand River Avenue in Lansing.
Anthony and his growing family relocated to Holt and heard from lots of friends and neighbors that they would be happy to do business with Rick Anthony’s Flower Shoppe if there was a location closer to home. That’s when Anthony opened up his first shop next to Sweet Sensations on Cedar Street. Over the 25 years that Rick Anthony’s Flower Shoppe has been in Holt, it’s moved to two other locations on Cedar Street, finally landing at its current location around 14 years ago.
Today, Rick Anthony’s Flower Shoppe is a thriving family business. Anthony handles the management of his two store locations, but mostly stays at the Lansing location while his wife Carole and daughter Randi Kay handle operations in Holt. As a family, they sometimes have to sacrifice a lot in order to provide for their customers. Anthony can think of several times throughout his career where vacations or family get-togethers were cut short by a rush flower order. While he does have a dedicated team of part- time employees, last-minute jobs often require all hands on deck.
“If you want to have any kind of success in this business, you have to be ready for these kinds of interruptions,” he said. “That’s what makes it a unique and demanding business. We offer very personalized service.”
But despite its challenges, Anthony has loved being a part of the business and watching it transform over his career.
“The Internet has completely changed the way people order flowers,” he said. Today, Anthony estimates that 80-90 percent of his business comes from Internet orders.
And he’ll remain ready for new changes ahead. In the coming years, Anthony said he and his wife Carole are considering leaving their business to their children after more than 50 years of running the family-owned shop.
“It’s been very rewarding,” he said of his long career in the business. “It makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something very important. The reward comes from the realization that you’re doing something for somebody that’s really appreciative.”
Rick Anthony’s Flower Shoppe is at 2111 Cedar Street in Holt, 517.694.7717, www.ricksroses.com.