Column: Wickert Floral has long history
ESCANABA — It’s no secret that the Chamber is celebrating its centennial this year. While it is a milestone for us, we want to shine a spotlight on the accomplishments and history of our dedicated members.
On the business page of last Saturday’s Daily Press was a picture submitted by the Chamber of a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Wickert Floral at 230 Stephenson Avenue (reprinted above). Kurt Almonroeder proudly cut the ribbon on March 9 to officially welcome customers to the store’s new home.
Here’s a little history about a company that has been part of the business community since 1922, just a year after the Chamber was formed.
The first generation of the Wickert family arrived to the tiny Escanaba settlement around the 1860s to establish a feed business that, even in the early years, sold seeds and plants. In 1922 the Wickert Floral company, with over 8,000 square feet of greenhouses located near the athletic field, was established by Walter Wickert. In addition to the greenhouses, the Wickert family operated a retail storefront at 1006 Ludington Street.
Hazel and Walter Wickert operated the floral company until their retirement. The greenhouses, that had grown in size to 12,000 square feet, and the store were then purchased by the Wickert’s daughter and son-in-law, Marge and Paul Snyder. Marge and Paul operated the business for 30 years.
In 1980, the shop was purchased by Gregg and Kay Johnson. Before owning the business, Gregg worked at Wickert Floral during high school and college. Kay, who was teaching at Rapid River Schools at the time, was also a floral designer and a member of the Michigan Floral and the Wisconsin-U.P. Floral Associations.
The Johnsons opened a Gladstone branch of Wickert Floral in 1984. Gregg owned Wickert Floral until his death in 2006. His estate sold the business to Gordon Cashen. Gordon continued the high quality, excellent service offered by Wickert Floral from the same Ludington Street storefront until a collapsed roof caused the company to move to a temporary location in the Delta Plaza Mall.
Kurt Almonroeder recently purchased Wickert Floral from Cashen. He and his staff are looking forward to continuing to serve the Delta County area from the new Stephenson Avenue location. They are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts as one of the oldest members of FTD, which makes floral deliveries within our waterfront community and to all parts of the world.
Thank you to the Daily Press News Archive, Don Curran, Kay Johnson, and Gordon Cashen for filling in the 1922 – 2021 dash. #100yearsofbettertogether
— — —
Vickie Micheau is the executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.