Local Family-Owned Florist in Midtown Thrives on Mother’s Day with Vintage Charm: ‘Authenticity at Its Finest’ | West Observer

May 12, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Superior Florist in Midtown Manhattan is a family-owned business that has been operating for almost a century. The patriarch, Sam Rosenberg, still works six days a week at the age of 86, while his son, Steve, manages orders behind a computer. The flower district in Manhattan has seen a decline in business due to the presence of cheap supermarket flowers and a decrease in office population post-COVID. However, the workers at Superior Florist are still bustling before Mother’s Day, taking customers on a nostalgic journey through the heyday of local florists.

The history of Superior Florist dates back to 1932 when Louis, Sam’s father, started the business after emigrating from Poland. Louis packed and ran flowers for $8 a week until he finally opened his own store. Nearly a century later, the Rosenbergs own the building that houses their establishment and bill themselves as “New York’s Leading Florist.” The store holds a historical significance, with the legendary photojournalist Eugene Smith capturing moments outside the store, showcasing the vibrant atmosphere of holidays like Easter that used to be the busiest time of the year.

While the neighborhood has changed over the years and foot traffic has slowed, Superior Florist prides itself on providing quality flowers when compared to supermarkets. Steve has noted that supermarkets sell bouquets made weeks in advance and shipped directly to distribution centers. Despite the challenges, customers still flock to the family-run business for last-minute gifts like peonies, roses, and lilacs. The experienced staff members, like Jesus Rivera who has been working at the florist for 36 years, are able to create fantastic arrangements that impress customers and keep them coming back.

The future of Superior Florist is uncertain as Steve’s son, who works in marketing in Florida, may not take over the business. However, for now, the store continues to operate as it has throughout the years, serving a loyal customer base and offering a unique experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Steve believes that the flower business is a part of history that cannot be replaced, highlighting the importance of a family-owned business with deep roots in the community. As the business navigates the changing landscape of Manhattan, it remains a symbol of tradition, quality, and resilience in the face of challenges.


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