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Century of Flowers

Peck’s a mainstay in Gloversville

February 19, 2012
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - For 82 years, Peck's Flowers has been a fixture at its location on the corner of North Main and Spring streets in the city.

But its history stretches further back than that.

The business, which is now run by fourth-generation owner Bob Peck, who took the business over from his father in 1974, is in its 100th year in Gloversville, after it was founded by his grandfather, Clarence Peck.

Article Photos

Bob Peck, owner of Peck’s Flowers in Gloversville, is shown with his wife, Sally, Wednesday at the shop in Gloversville.

The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo

To honor its longevity, Peck's Flowers was recognized with the Centennial Business of the Year Award last month by the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

"They're a mainstay and a fixture in downtown Gloversville," chamber Interim President Terry Swierzowski said. "I think it's not only the history and connection with the community, but also their attention to detail and their commitment to customer service that has helped them survive."

After Clarence Peck opened the business, his father, William E. Peck, came to work with his son at the flower shop.

From there, the business was passed down to Clarence's son, William R. Peck, then to Bob Peck, who has been working at the business full time since 1974.

The business has seen most of its growth on the corner of North Main and Spring. There used to be an alleyway behind the store, but Peck had a garage built back there so it could be used to load deliveries onto the van.

The shop just got through its typically busy day of the year, Valentine's Day, and on Wednesday, some of the store's displays had some holes that needed to be filled after a day of increased business. Mother's Day is the second busiest holiday.

Overall, Christmas is the busiest season.

"There's about four to five weeks for that season," Peck said.

In previous decades in order to run a flower shop, a florist had to grow his own flowers, and Peck said his father and grandfather had greenhouses throughout the area to supply the shops. Now, three greenhouses are gone and the flowers are ordered, but everything is arranged at Peck's Flowers.

The flower industry has changed as well. If a customer calls with enough advance notice and Peck doesn't have a flower in stock, he can get it in the shop by the next day in most cases. Also, the varieties of flowers have grown.

The competition also has grown.

"Before, our only competition was other florists," Peck said. "Now, we have to worry about grocery stores, fundraisers and all that."

Flowers aren't all that's come out of Peck's over the years. Other florists have, too.

"Many of the local florists got their start or studied under the tutelage of his father and grandfather," Swierzowski said. "That connection and the nature of the industry, there's a friendly competition among florists. They seem to keep ties with each other."

Peck said most of the florists who have come out of Peck's have come and gone, but the originator remains.

"It says a lot to be able to go through the ups and downs of the economy," Peck said. "We've adjusted and adapted. We also couldn't have lasted this long without our customers."

The biggest question now facing a 100-year-old stapled business in Gloversville is whether a fifth generation will take over when he and his wife, Sally, are ready to pass it on.

He has two older children in their 30s who Peck said are doing their own things. But he has a daughter attending school in the area.

"She's been asked if she's going to be the fifth," Peck said. "Right now, she's interested in being a dentist."

Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at business@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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