After 103 years in business, Klotz Floral & Garden Center will be closing their doors on June 26.
Gene Klotz, owner of the business, will retire once the garden center is closed.
The business first opened in 1918 by Frank Klotz, Gene’s grandfather. He started out selling tomatoes, other vegetables and pansies out of his truck.
Frank Klotz bought the land the garden center currently sits on. As time went on, the business started to sell other flowers and grew to include a greenhouse.
Gene Klotz first started working at the business when he was a child. In 1970, the business was handed to him, his wife, his older sister and brother-in-law.
“It’s always been family. We worked together as a family,” Klotz said.
Under their ownership, the business has expanded. They built new greenhouses and updated the flower shop.
Currently, the only family members working at the garden center are Klotz’s wife, Rita, and their son Eric, 45.
Klotz and Rita have been married and worked together for 51 years. Eric has worked at the business for 35 years.
The success of the business comes from the hard work of the Klotz family, Gene said.
“Any business, whether you have family or not, is always a challenge. You have to open up the lines of communication and go with it. We have a big enough place to diversify where each person has a different department to work in,” he said.
Klotz said he will miss his customers the most. The garden center has loyal customers from all over Northwest Ohio, he said.
“A lot of people, I recognize them. A lot of people I know their names or they know my name but I don’t know them, but their face is familiar,” he said.
Klotz said he is open to renting out the facilities if another flower business wants to set up shop in Bowling Green. Right now, the plan is to completely shut down the business.
The garden center does have a sale going on right now on certain items. It is not an “everything must go sale,” he said. They are selling whatever they have left and giving away some things to charity.
“It’s not a liquidation sale, it’s a retirement sale,” Klotz said. “Gene and Rita are calling it quits, that’s the way it is.”
As for Klotz’s retirement plans, he and his wife will stay in Bowling Green. They will still be active members in the community and at their church. Klotz is looking forward to having more time to fish.
Klotz also plans to travel more during his retirement. He said he owns a recreational vehicle and is looking forward to traveling around the country without having to worry about what’s going on with the business.
“Much like any private family business, as soon as you wake up in the morning you’re thinking about it. Before you go to bed, hopefully you don’t think about it too long so you can go to sleep,” Klotz said.
Klotz said closing the business is bittersweet because there will only be one flower shop left in Bowling Green after he closes.
On the other hand, Klotz said it is time to step away from the business.
Klotz and his wife are ready to enjoy themselves after years of serving the Bowling Green community.
“In your 70s, it’s supposed to be your golden years. Hopefully we got some left,” he said.