By LISA WHALEY
After nearly 75 years of constant Jonesborough blooms, Broyles Florist has announced that its bouquet is changing.
Plans are underway for the Jonesborough store to merge with the Johnson City store, according to Walt Engel, who co-owns Broyles Florist Inc. with wife, Sara Broyles Engel.
“Jan. 31 is the final day,” he said of the Jonesborough location. But while the venue may be shifting to Johnson City, the couple stress the commitment to the Jonesborough customers will not.
“It’s a consolidation rather than a closing,” Sara stressed.
“We’ll still be serving the public,” Walt said. “We are still available with a local phone call and a guaranteed delivery. It will be same-day service, six days a week, if you call us by noon.”
The decision to centralize the offices in Johnson City was not an easy one, Sara acknowledged.
“I have a lot of mixed feelings,” she said.
The daughter of Broyles Florist’s original owners, Mitch and Blanche Broyles, Sara has spent a good portion of her life in the flower business at 258 E. Main St. Her parents first opened the Jonesborough shop 73 years ago.
Still, health challenges as well as ongoing staffing shortages had already caused Sara to begin looking at retirement, as she shared in a recent “Faces of Jonesborough” Herald & Tribune article.
After careful consideration, the decision was recently made to centralize all accounts at the Johnson City store, located at 214 E. Mountcastle Drive.
“It does get to be kind of overwhelming and there are other things I’d like to do,” Sara admitted.
That doesn’t mean that either Walt or Sara are getting ready to get out of the flower business. In fact, in many ways, according to Walt, they are more determined than ever to continue to provide the service Jonesborough has come to expect from Broyles Florist.
Longtime Senior Floral Designer Teresa Cannon is the manager of the Johnson City store and will report to both Walt and Sara.
“And we’re moving all the records up there,” he said. “We have in-house accounts we charge to all month long and we’re one of the few place that does that.
“All the files are being transferred and we will continue servicing those accounts as usual.”
There are currently no plans to sell the Jonesborough building.
“Broyles Florist has been voted Best Local Florist in the annual Johnson City Press contest 17 times — most recently 2018 and 2019,” Walt said. And they want to continue that.
The couple also encouraged customers to get their Valentine’s orders in sooner rather than later to ensure the best service.
“We have already begun moving Jonesborough operations to the Johnson City location and hope to be completed by Jan. 31,” Walt said. “Starting Feb. 1, all orders need to be placed directly with the Johnson City location at 929-2555.”