Wauwatosa’s historic Rose Flower Shop will close in June

Walking in and near the businesses that surround North 68th and West Wells streets can feel like stepping into a time machine.

From the original ceilings still present in a century-old building to old photos lining the walls of multiple family businesses, there seems to be vintage magic in the storefront community tucked away in the Wauwatosa neighborhood. .

The business that defined the window block is Rose’s Flower Shop, whose owners, Philip and Monique Krainz, have decided to retire after decades selling flowers in Wauwatosa.

“The important thing is that it was our decision…and we just felt it was time. We had our best year ever and felt it was fair to come out on top,” said Philip.

The Krainzes plan to close the shop on June 30.

Rose’s Flower Shop began in 1943, named after Philip’s aunt Rose who ran the shop with her father. Spending his childhood learning from his family, Philip took over the business with Monique in 1993.

Rose's Flower Shop was named after Philip Krainz's Aunt Rose.

Since then, the couple have been a fixture in the area, usually working together every day and living their dream. In fact, the flower is an apt symbol for the couple who used their love and passion to help others express theirs.

“When someone, usually a man, comes along and doesn’t know what to give, we like to ask questions and help create something that will make the person they’re giving the flowers to happy; we will miss it,” Monique said.

A close-knit community

As the couple reminisced, they recalled weddings they had been asked to decorate just hours before the events, and others where they had provided $35,000 worth of flowers. But what they think they would miss most can be summed up in one word: community.

The Krainzes pointed to the connections and interactions they have been able to make with the community that has supported them as one of their great joys.

“Our customers are not just customers. We know when they have deaths, or when they have births, or when their kids go to a new school…so it’s always been community-based,” Monique said.

When the couple announced their intention to close, there were a flurry of posts on social media as members of the community expressed how much the flower shop meant to them.

“We will miss you beyond words! Thank you for the many joyful moments your flowers have brought to all of us,” one customer said in a Facebook post.

In addition to their customers, the Krainzes have also connected with other businesses they serve as owners, including Balistreri’s Pizza, La Tarte and Old Towne Cobbler.

Rose's Flower Shop owners Philip and Monique Krainz plan to close the shop at the end of June.

“The average resident in these units, I would say, has been here for 25 years? Yeah, so we feel like there’s something really special going on here,” Philip said.

His feelings about these other businesses are reflected in his turning down an offer to buy all of the units that make up the storefront community.

“Sometimes it’s not just about the money, it’s about the people. I look after the other eight businesses here, and it’s sort of my responsibility to make sure that continues,” he explained.

Fill the vacant space

One of those eight companies will also make a change this month, as chocolate factory Ultimate Confections plans to fill the space the Krainzes leave when they close Rose’s.

Ultimate Confections is currently about three units from the corner storefront. Owner Pat Murphy said he was initially reluctant to move, citing the change as a major factor.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I was all nervous about it because, you know, I know it’s only a few yards down the street, but people are getting so used to coming to your house” , Murphy said. “I think I’ve been here for 27 years now.”

Rose's Flower Shop has been located on North 68th and West Wells streets since 1949.

Despite this hesitation, Murphy said he couldn’t resist the opportunity to move into the “anchor” storefront and hopes to open in the new location in September.

“I think it will be great. We will now have views from both streets, and not only that, we will have more space, so it is also a practical decision,” he said.

“Rose’s is awesome, they’ve done a lot of great things in this area for years, and I was honored to be asked to move into the space,” Murphy said. “Granted, we’re not flowers, you know, we’re chocolates, but I think we share a lot of the same qualities, so we’re excited to continue the legacy.”

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Beck Andrew Salgado can be reached at 512-568-4070 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Beck_Salgado

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