For 60 years, the family-owned-and-operated shop has served the metro Atlanta area as a full service flower shop. On Dec. 13, the shop celebrates the day by rolling back the cost of a Cash-and-Carry dozen roses to $5, the estimated 1953 price.
“We’re proud of a lot of things with this business, but especially the longevity. Only a handful of businesses can say that they’ve been continuously owned by the same family for 60 years. We’re very proud of that,” said Glenn Owens Jr., who is in charge of the day-to-day operations with his brother-in-law, Paul Conyngham. Paul is married to Glenn’s sister, Joanna Conyngham.
Glenn and Joanna’s parents, Margaret and Glenn Owens Sr., started the business in the basement of their Fair Oaks home between Marietta and Smyrna. As manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company on Roswell Street in Marietta, Glenn Sr. visited flower shops in the area with his work. “Dad liked what he saw and wanted to get into that business,” said Glenn Jr.
From humble beginnings, the shop quickly prospered. After three years, the Owens moved from their basement two doors north to 954 Atlanta Road across from Lockheed (at the intersection of Oakridge Drive).
“When we moved to Atlanta Road, it was similar to a modern day convenience store or service station. It sold those types of items. There were gas pumps in front and they sold gasoline as well,” Glenn Jr. said.
Glenn Sr. capitalized on the location and his marketing skills to grow the business.
“Every morning and every evening we would get traffic from Lockheed and the road would be totally full of cars. Daddy was a wonderful marketer and self-promoter, and he loved to farm. He purchased 100 acres in northeast Cobb where he grew corn and tomatoes,” Joanna said.
Glenn Sr. printed bags that read “Compliments of Owens Flower Shop” that he would fill with tomatoes or corn in the summertime and give to customers when they stopped to order flowers or pay their bills.
“Daddy combined his love of gardening with the business. I think that’s one way he built the business. The wonderful people at Lockheed were also very supportive of us,” Joanna said.
As the business flourished, Margaret and Glenn purchased an adjoining piece of property. The shop was located in Fair Oaks until 2004 when Atlanta Road was realigned, and they moved to the current location.
“The original flower shop was expanded and redesigned seven times over the years,” Glenn Jr. said.
Success did not come without hard work.
“Our parents were extremely hardworking. They had a strong work ethic that they imparted to their children,” Joanna said.
The children followed their parents’ example working at the shop in different capacities.
“The first thing we did as young children was stuffing envelopes with bills. We weren’t crazy about doing that, but we did it,” said Joanna, a sales associate for Harry Norman Realtors for 20 years, who served as bookkeeper of the shop.
It was not unusual for the family to work long hours, especially over holiday weekends.
“We would spend the night at the flower shop during Mother’s Day and Easter weekend,” Joanna said.
“We never went anywhere as children that we didn’t have flowers sitting on our laps in the car where Daddy would stop and make a delivery. On Sunday afternoon when we were having lunch, someone would come up to the house and Daddy would go down to the shop and open it up. We saw a good work ethic that I will always be thankful for that has served this family business very well,” she said.
Owens Flower Shop is a family affair, having employed children as well as other family members such as their maternal grandmother Vernie Bible, who worked as a designer.
“A lot of people identify my grandmother with the flower shop because she was there the whole time and she worked there into her nineties,” Glenn Jr. said.
Today, the shop has 12 employees. Well-known florists including Tony Whitlock and Larry Carithers began their careers as delivery boys at Owens.
“Half the florists in Cobb County we trained. They all learned from us that the secret to success is to have a good product, a fresh product and stand behind the product and to take care of customers,” said Paul Conyngham, who joined the business when he and Joanna started their family.
Loyalty of the shop’s employees is another contributing factor to its success. Delivery Supervisor Ed Wilson has worked there for 40 years. Kathleen Peppers just retired as a designer after 45 years. Elizabeth Konigsmark retired from the wedding department after more than 30 years.
Glenn, who joined the business after serving as an Air Force Pilot for five years during Vietnam said, “I’ve never regretted it. It’s going on 40 years now. It’s an interesting business. Something we enjoy very much.
“It’s a lot of give and take. Our family has a tradition. We want to keep that tradition alive and we work at that every day. It’s very important to keep our family tradition going,” Glenn said.
The shop is at 1000 Whitlock Ave, Suite 300, Marietta.
Visit owensflowershop.com or call (770) 427-5501 or (800) 446-9367.