Evans Florist Celebrate 100th Valentine's Day

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Nick Murray

 In 1955, one of the apartments behind the shop went up in flames.

In 1955, one of the apartments behind the shop went up in flames.

A Century of Valentines. 100 Years of Romance. February 14th, 2018 will mark the 100th time Evans Florist has celebrated Valentine's Day.  The store was opened in early February of 1918 by two brothers; F.W. and Art Evans.

"Valentine's Day is crazy" said Tina Couzens, now the store's owner, "because guys are last minute shoppers, only a few of them order things in advance. It's been like that for as long as I've worked here."

Tina began working at Evans 29 years ago, under the Evans Brothers, the grandchildren of F.W., Keith, Rick and Ian. 

 The delivery vehicle, picking up flowers.

The delivery vehicle, picking up flowers.

"I bought it from them when they all retired. Their kids didn't want to be in the flower industry" said Tina.

Originally, when F.W. and Art opened the shop, it was a seed store. By the mid-1950's, they had both retired. F.W's two sons took control until they each passed away. One in '82 and the other in '84. One of those sons, Henry, had four sons. Three of which went on to run the family business: Keith, Rick and Ian.

Keith was sort of a Rhodes Scholar in Floral Design. He began working around the shop as a teenager for 0.15 cents an hour, before heading off to Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Floriculture and came back home to work the family business as a career. He won regional contests in floral design and competed nationally. His two brothers joined him at the shop a decade later; and that's where they were, when Tina Couzens came along in 1989. Just a young woman looking for a job. She worked under them for 19 Years before purchasing the business off of them.

Keith passed away in April of 2017.

 During the 1955 fire that nearly destroyed the shop.

During the 1955 fire that nearly destroyed the shop.

 Picture of Evans long before Tina took over.

Picture of Evans long before Tina took over.

Tina can envision Evans lasting another long stretch of years in the flower sales business. "Depending on what the internet does" she said, adding "But I'll be doing this at least until I retire at seventy."

When that time comes, Tina plans on selling it; and hopefully to someone who will keep the name.

 Tina often re-designs the display area in the store front.

Tina often re-designs the display area in the store front.

Tina herself has survived 29 Valentine's Day blitzes; and she is prepared for many more. "One of the funniest Valentine's Day stories happened the year I started. There were lots of guys waiting for flowers. I had just finished an order for someone named John. I called his name a couple times..."John"..."John"...then someone said "I'm John"; so I sold him the flowers. It turns out he wasn't John; he was just a guy in a hurry and he saw the flowers and paid for them so he could get out of there. I had to make another arrangement for the real John." She told this story through laughter while thinking back on the absurdity of it all.

It's a positive memory. Valentine's Day is good for that. Evans Florist has been helping procure love for 100 Years now. There is no telling how many more they have left.

Just a reminder that Cupid is coming and Evans has Valentine's Arrangements for your sweetheart. Don't be afraid to order them in advance.

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