The open streets of Sanford, friendly shop owners, The Big Dip, The Sanford Zoo that held a variety of animals and sold delicious snow cones and large bags of peanuts. These are some of the fond memories that brother and sister Tim and Kit, owners of The Sanford Flower Shop remember from growing up right here in Downtown Sanford. I’ve stepped into The Sanford Flower Shop several times over the last couple of years, but never had I had the privilege to sit and chat with the incredibly hospitable owners Tim and Kit.
The flower shop originally owned by Frank and Charlotte (the parents of Tim and Kit) opened the shop in 1956. The Sanford Flower Shop was not the family’s first shop as they originally opened one in Pennsylvania and in Virginia; in fact if you happen to find yourself in Front Royal, Virginia you could still visit one of the original flower shops, Donahoe’s.
So you might ask yourself what drew the family to our little town? Paradise! That is what friends of the family called Sanford and that’s all it took to get Frank, Charlotte, 4 year old Tim, 6 month old Kit along with their two siblings to pick up and move to our little town of Sanford. Tim and Kit recall growing up in the shop and helping out however they could. Kit laughed as she remembered a story from when she was in High School. Kit’s mother showed up at the High School to tell her daughter that “she (Kit) was feeling sick”. “It was the day before Valentine’s Day and my parents were swamped, so they needed everyone’s help” recalls Kit.
When I asked if either of them thought of ever leaving or doing anything other than run the family shop, both agreed it had crossed their minds. Tim talks of his moment of fame as he and his High School friends started a band, The Shy Guys and went as far as recording an album in Nashville! Now that’s pretty cool! Their biggest hit was called Black Lightning Light and they were recently asked if that song could be added to a CD full of a variety of artists. Check it out for yourself here… The Shy Guys, Black Lightning Light
Kit did “leave” the flower shop for a short period of time and worked for a bank, but says she would always go to the flower shop on her lunch time and it eventually got a little ridiculous and she decided the flower shop was were she was meant to be. Tim agrees that he never really left the shop.
In 1982, Frank suffered a series of strokes and Charlotte needed to care for him full time, that was when the siblings officially started taking ownership over the shop and seeing just how much work their parents had put into the family store. That was a little over 30 years ago, recalls Kit as she realizes she and her brother have now operated the shop more years than her parents had.
Both Tim and Kit agree that they couldn’t imagine working anywhere else and are proud to say that they get along and enjoy working with each other. “I believe the best gift our parents ever gave us was each other” states Kit. Kit actually boasts about her brother as she points to two certificates on the wall, one for Jane Myers (the shops head designer and event coordinator) and the other has Tim’s name on it. Tim then goes on to tell me about his AIFD certificate, which stands for The American Institute of Floral Designers.
Needless to say that Tim and Jane are two people we should all be proud to have right here in Sanford as they are both one of the few florists world wide to be inducted into AIFD. Tim and Jane actually had the opportunity to live in China for a few months at a time (not at the same time explains Tim, as that would have hurt the shop), over the course of three years for Tim and five years for Jane. Both designed large showrooms for large chain stores such as Wal-Mart and JC Penny’s.
With that being said you may take a little more time to look over The Sanford Flower Shop’s Christmas trees that are up in their store, as it’s Tim and Jane that is behind all of that! Speaking of Christmas trees, everyone at The Sanford Flower Shop are BIG time lovers of Sanford’s Historic Christmas Tour and actually have helped decorate some of those beautiful homes and trees that you have seen on previous tours.