Frank Kreutzer, florist for 47 years, trades roses for retirement

Kreutzer & Dorl Florist closes after 65 years

NEWPORT, Ky. - It's the end of the line at Kreutzer & Dorl Florist.

After more than 65 years, the family-owned busiess is closing its doors for good.

The owner, 73-year-old Frank Kreutzer, says he's trading in roses for retirement. Kreutzer has been working six days a week for the past 47 years.

"My parents started it in 1953. I grew up in it,” Kreutzer said.

He's seen the highs and lows.

"I have a lady who was a customer for 50 years. Customer for my parents. She did all her daughter's weddings."  

But times have changed, he said.

"When you think about it and look around, you don't see many of them any more. There's just not a lot of floral shops here," he noted.

Kreutzer said he's no match for big businesses like amazon. And it's a shame. He says local businesses provide an opportunity to know your community.  

"I think that's what's missing when you get them from a mass marketer - that's just shipping them in a box,” he said. “That's all it is. Flowers shipped in a box. I think the end of an era is coming from that standpoint.”

And  Kreutzer admits time is catching up to him.

  "If I had the energy and desire to work as hard as I did to build it to keep it going, I could've done it,” he said.  "But I don't have that desire. I get tired a lot earlier, and 73 is enough, I think."

It's tough news for Jeanie Hodges, who has worked in the store for 27 years.

"I'm sad. We're all like family here," she said.

Customers are sad, too, Hodges said.

"We have a great customer base. We've had customers calling saying, ‘Where should I go?’ We don't have a place to tell them to go. It'll be missed. It'll be a hole here."

Tom Williams, a former employee, stopped by one last time to redeem a gift certificate.

"He said it's good indefinitely. I said that's not true anymore," Williams said.

He picked out some yellow roses to take home to his wife.

As for Hodges, she starts a new job Monday. “’l’ll be a rookie again,” she said. “That'll be strange."  

Kreutzer is looking ahead to a new season of life - retirement with his family.  He thinks his parents would be proud of how he grew the family business.

"I think they'd be very proud. I think they'd be proud of themselves, too, for starting something that's supported me and my family for this many years," Kreutzer said.

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