Florist will be open for Mother’s Day even after cars crashed there

Baseline Flowers, the last flower shop remaining from the era of Japanese-American flower gardens that were established in the 1950s along Baseline Road near South Mountain, is still in business for Mother’s Day after two cars crashed into their building last week.

“Honestly, it looks like a hurricane went through it,” Kathy Nakagawa, owner of Baseline Flowers, told The Arizona Republic. “Both cars came onto the sidewalk. One car actually hit the side of our building and entered the building and the other car had to turn and run along the side of the building…it took off many signs off the building. north side of the building.

The accident happened overnight around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday April 21, according to Nakagawa who said she arrived at the scene around 9:30 p.m. to see the damage to the business.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, preliminary information indicates that speed was a factor for the two cars involved in the accident. A woman was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Baseline Flowers posted photos on Instagram showing structural damage to the building. Both cars involved in the collision appear to have been flipped on their sides or upside down. Part of the building’s metal structure was also damaged, and various pieces of inventory, including baskets, boxes and vases, were destroyed on the ground.

After the debris was cleared, the holes in the building were barricaded and a metal fence blocks the area of ​​the collision.

“We plan to be open and doing deliveries for Mother’s Day because it’s such a big holiday and we really appreciate and appreciate all of our customers and we want to be sure we can be open for that,” said she declared.

Baseline Flowers was established in 1952 on a 1-mile stretch on Baseline Road near 32nd and 40th Streets. The original flower farms were a big tourist attraction in the spring for Arizona residents.

“There were seven Japanese families growing flowers and vegetables along Baseline Road on the north and south side,” Nakagawa said. “Over the years people sold the land. My dad’s family sold the land, but my dad carved out a part where the flower shop is and he kept the flower shop open.”

“So we are the last florist of this era,” Nakagawa added. After the death of her father last year, she took over the family business.

“We kind of have two sides to our building. One is the retail side where customers come in, and we have a little cooler where we keep bouquets and arrangements for the public to buy,” Nakagawa said. “The side they touched was our work side, where we have a huge cold room where we keep all our inventory, like vases. All of that was destroyed.”

Nakagawa said the company’s cold rooms, where they store much of their flowers, were also “severely damaged” in the accident. The chiller is functional but not working properly.

“We have enough storage for the inventory that we had in place, so we didn’t lose much due to the accident,” Nakagawa said. “We’ve lost a few buckets of stuff, but we’re about to start bringing in all the inventory for Mother’s Day, so if we’re not running the cooler, we have to make other plans.”

In addition to the inventory that was destroyed, Nakagawa says a recently commissioned mural by local Phoenix artist Ariana Enriquez Verduzco on the west side of the building was “destroyed.”

“We just commissioned a mural. We worked with an artist to put a mural on the west side of the building and it destroyed part of that mural,” Nakagawa said. “The mural had just been done in March and everyone loved the mural, so it was really heartbreaking.”

Baseline Flowers will be open and ready to operate on Mother’s Day. Online ordering on the company’s website is active and walk-in customers are welcome, according to Nakagawa.

“We were able to get a wonderful contractor to clean up a lot of the debris so we can get back to work and fully open for Mother’s Day. So we’re excited about that and then we can take care of the repairs and what’s up. be needed for renovation after Mother’s Day,” she said.

Contact breaking news reporter Haleigh Kochanski at [email protected] or on Twitter @HaleighKochans.

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