Upon walking into Keith’s Flower Shop in downtown Mount Gilead, one thing is glaringly obvious, Keith is nowhere to be found.
Instead one is greeted by the new owner of the shop, Jean Beck, who spends her days at the businesses handling all-encompassing daily florist duties.
“I’m the owner, flower arranger, janitor, book-keeper, you name it, I do it,” Beck said.
She, along with her husband Joe, bought the store in 2007 from the former owner Keith Sterritt, who opened the business in 1959, hence the name Keith’s Flower Shop.
“I didn’t want to change the name,” Jean said. “I have people who stop in all the time who come back to Mount Gilead and they always remember the store.”
Beck began her floral business before ever settling into the downtown location, she previously ran her business out her family’s home, traveling around to craft shows selling floral arrangements.
The Mount Gilead resident currently runs her one-woman operation in her store for most of the year, calling on her friends and family for help only during the store’s busiest times. Beck mostly relies on her husband, two sons and daughter-in-law for assistance in the store.
“At most I’ll have eight people here with me,” she stated. “Our busiest season is Christmas through Mother’s Day.”
Mother’s Day marks the hectic peak for the store, and Beck has begun to ramp up her operation in preparation for the holiday.
In addition to floral arrangements for holidays and events, Beck offers other home décor items and has now begun renting Ameritux tuxedos for students attending prom.
“We wanted to give people the option of renting here in the area,” she said of the decision to begin her tuxedo rental operation.
Keith’s Flower Shop is located at 20 West High Street and is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Reach Jones at 419-946-3010 ext. 1803 or on Twitter @zJones_1239