CLINTON — Jan Collins was pregnant with one of her children when she and her husband, Jack, first opened Collins Flower Court, almost 45 years ago. With $2,000 that Jack received from a relative, the couple opened the flower shop, originally located on South Second Street.
Now, after raising four children and spending a large portion of their lives in the business, Jan, 76, and Jack, 77 will be closing the flower shop, 658 Sixth Ave. South.
“But we’ve had a great run, I’ll tell you,” Jack said. Jan added that they have enjoyed being in the flower business.
The business started all those years ago on Oct. 1, 1969, after Jack’s mother decided to close her business, The Flower Shoppe. The couple had been working in the shop for a while and wanted to take on the business, but could not buy it. Instead, they decided to open up their own place.
For years, Jack worked shifts at DuPont, while making deliveries and working in the shop. The business grew to the point where they moved to their current location just a few years after opening the business.
However, now Jack says the flower business is not the same as it used to be. With grocery stores, gas stations and other businesses selling flowers, he said people do not visit their local florists like they used to.
At one time, Collins Flower Cart used to have two to three trucks delivering for 10 to 12 hours a day. Now, Jack and their son do the deliveries in a few hours.
“The flower shops are kind of diminishing,” Jack said. “They’re dropping by the wayside.”
The couple also decided to retire and close due to their increasing age. Jack said shoveling this winter and simply making deliveries takes a toll on him.
They plan to close up shop by the end of June or middle of July and are looking to sell their store. However, Jan is not sure just how long it will take to get everything sorted out.