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September Small Business Feature: Gordon Florist and Greenhouses

Ipswich, MA

Gordon Florist and Greenhouses is a family-owned and operated business that has been in Ipswich ma since 1922. They grow their own plants and also run a full-service floral shop. Customers can walk in their greenhouses and pick out their own plants and they have a walk-in flower fridge where people can pick their own floral bouquets by the stem. They also have a resident cat named Rusty Gordon who is probably the most popular attraction!

How did your business get started?

The Gordon family has lived in the same location on Essex Road since the early 1900s. We built all of our glass greenhouses ourselves and started small as a cut flower grower, growing carnations and gladiolas out of the greenhouses. As we started to expand we started growing our own mums, poinsettias, and geraniums. We are a fifth-generation family-owned business.

How has the pandemic affected your business?

The pandemic affected us by having to operate with half our normal staff and about triple the business. We closed down the storefront and just operated by outside sales and deliveries. We were very fortunate to be in the “essential” category so we were able to operate the entire pandemic. Many people had a lot of time on their hands and decided to pick up gardening or fixing up their lawns so we were extremely busy. Luckily we had the help of family members and friends that risked themselves to help us stay in business.

What are your favorite products or services that you currently sell?

Our indoor plant selection continues to grow as house plant popularity is growing. Succulents, green plants, and plant decor bring in a younger client base. We are also excited to start selling dried florals by the bunch and dried floral arrangements. We also have a flower cart that is new this year that we have outside in the front of our parking lot on weekends filled with mason jar arrangements of cut flowers we grew ourselves in our cut flower garden.

What are a few fun facts about your business?

Fun facts are we have 3 generations currently working at the greenhouse. We have a greenhouse cat named Rusty. We grow our own cut flowers in the summer mostly zinnias and sunflowers. We also get a lot of local flowers from local vendors.

What advice do you have for someone in the beginning stages of owning a business?

In the beginning stages of owning your own business, there is a lot of hard work, late nights, and stress that comes with it. The benefits of being your own boss and creating something that is all your own is completely worth it.

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