Conner Park florist turns 75
For 75 years, Conner Park Florist has been an integral part of countless special occasions, from local weddings to White House Christmases.
The third generation business now serves second and third generation customers, whose loyalty to Conner Park is appreciated.
Owner John Adamo said a few current clients have existed since his father, Vincent, opened the doors of Conner Park in 1946 at Conner and Gratiot in Detroit.
“We have a few original clients and a lot of long-term clients,” he said. “For some of them, we made the marriage of their parents, their marriage and the marriage of their child.
These are people Adamo knows well, having started working in the store at the age of 12.
“It’s just something I’ve always done,” he said.
From humble beginnings as a small family business to providing flowers to presidents and a pope, Conner Park has built a reputation for its flowers, greenery and exquisite arrangements, which feature fresh flowers from the the world, from California to South America to Canada, said Adamo.
Adamo credits Conner Park’s longevity to “having a family dedicated to him,” he said, “and never being afraid to try new things. We were one of the first in this region and the country to go computerized in the early 1970s. Florists came from all over the country to see our system.
Being an active part of the community is also integral to Conner Park’s success.
“When you’ve been around long enough, you get involved,” said Adamo, highlighting Conner Park’s role as a member of the Society of American Florists in decorating the 2005 inauguration of George W. Bush. .
Such occasions were not new for Adamo, whose father also provided flowers for Ronald Reagan’s investiture in 1985 and Pope John Paul II’s visit to Detroit in 1987. The shop has also decorated several times the White House for Christmas.
“My dad has always been involved, in the industry and in the community,” said Adamo. “He always said to get involved.
The business is still a family affair. Adamo’s wife, Connie, is the chief designer. Their son, Andy, manages the online business. Adamo’s brothers, Paul and Greg, are also on staff.
From its charming showroom to its multi-purpose atrium and behind-the-scenes order fulfillment stations, the current location of Conner Park was built in 2000 especially for the company.
“We designed the store to be similar but more efficient than Conner’s store in Detroit,” Adamo said of the original location, which closed five years ago after 70 years in business. .
The onset of COVID-19 brought changes to the flower shop, including the installation of ultraviolet lights in back rooms, a hand sanitizer and plexiglass station at the front desk, and a revamped walk-in refrigerator that limits the number of occupants. Masks are currently mandatory.
During the lockdown, Adamo, his wife and son stayed at the store, helping customers with contactless deliveries and curbside pickup orders. They also supported local frontline workers by donating to nurses and workers at Ascension St. John Hospital; Adamo is a longtime member of the Guild of Saint John.
Each week, Adamo’s team brings flowers to area cemeteries on behalf of customers and helps corporate customers through employee appreciation and sympathy efforts. Adamo said he enjoys having personal contact with customers, a rare commodity these days.
“We love people and make them feel special,” said Adamo. “Flowers are very personal and mean so much to so many people, especially at times like those we have been facing for the past year and a half.”
The gift of flowers, he added, brings joy to both giver and receiver.
Celebrating 75 years in business also puts a smile on Adamo’s face. He thanked all of his clients for their continued support for three quarters of a century.
“We are happy to be able to serve you over the years,” he said. “It really is a joy.”
For more information, call (586) 773-1500 or visit connerpark.com.