Wall’s family flower shop closes after 74 years in Jefferson Park
JEFFERSON PARK – A long-time family-run flower and plant shop is definitely closing after more than 70 years in the far northwest.
Wall’s Flower Shop, Inc., 5862 W. Higgins Ave., will close before the end of the year and get rid of its inventory during a big clearance sale, owner Marie Kuehlhorn-Nishijima said.
Kuehlhorn-Nishijima’s parents opened the store in 1947 at West Addison Street and North Kilbourn Avenue in Old Irving Park, her cousin, Krissy Naylor, said. Naylor said her grandmother worked at the store when she was young and it was summer work for various family members.
In 1994, Kuehlhorn-Nishijima and her husband bought the business from her parents and moved it to its current location. The two ruled it together for years until they went their separate ways. Now Kuehlhorn-Nishijima and her son run the store, but she said she was ready to retire.
“I would like to express my thanks for [customers’] patronage over the years, and I will miss them, ”said Kuehlhorn-Nishijima.
The owner said she plans to spend time with her grandchildren after the business closes, but retiring was a tough decision.
Kuehlhorn-Nishijima said the community was losing not only a florist and access to hundreds of flowers and plants, but also an independent family business.
“Another is down… that seems to be the trend,” she said. “It’s unfortunate for the whole city.
Also at Jefferson Park, American Science & Surplus at 5316 N. Milwaukee Ave. plans to move to the suburbs in January. In Portage Park, a family-run empanadas store closed over the summer, and the husband and wife duo behind Home Line Decoration, also known as Al-Bazzar at 4358 N. Cicero Ave., are struggling to keep up. business and have a vacation sale, among other things.
As those stores close due to financial strains and weak sales, Kuehlhorn-Nishijima said the pandemic has increased sales in the past two years for his business.
Like other plant and flower stores, business is booming because people turned to working from home and had more time to tend the plants. Some sent flower arrangements to loved ones they couldn’t see in person.
“I have been busier in recent years than before, since the pandemic,” she said. “People were locked up and couldn’t see their families, so they sent flowers. “
Nonetheless, Kuehlhorn-Nishijima said the decline of family owned stores was having an impact on the community and that she was sad to drop the business.
Wall’s Flower Shop has several plants, flower bouquets, planters, floral supplies, wreaths and Christmas decorations on sale at 50 percent off. Kuehlhorn-Nishijima said she hopes people stop to shop in the coming weeks and help clear the shelves.
A pizzeria should take over, she said.
Wall’s Flower Shop has helped Far Northwest Siders with everything from birthday parties and weddings, engagements, graduations and funerals.
Naylor, who grew up in Jefferson Park and lives in Dunning, said closing the business is a hard pill to swallow and a loss for the neighborhood, especially as the flower industry is increasingly commercialized. .
“You can’t get quality arrangements in grocery stores,” Naylor said. “Marie and the family were legendary for their local arrangements.”
As far back as Naylor can remember, Wall’s Flower Shop has prepared all of the family’s wedding flowers and she has often recommended Kuehlhorn-Nishijima to her friends.
“They were all happy with the quality and the beauty of the work,” she said.
Wall’s Flower Shop is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the next several weeks and offers curbside delivery and pickup.
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