Gooden’s Floral to close: ‘It’s time’

 Lora Gooden-Mesh says, “It’s time,” to close Gooden’s Floral Shop. From left to right, bottom row: Ms. Gooden-Mesh and Carolyn Donovan. Standing: Ted Mesh, Kay Van Sant and Randy Rice. Not pictured: Donna Clark. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Lora Gooden-Mesh says, “It’s time,” to close Gooden’s Floral Shop. From left to right, bottom row: Ms. Gooden-Mesh and Carolyn Donovan. Standing: Ted Mesh, Kay Van Sant and Randy Rice. Not pictured: Donna Clark. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

MILFORD — Lora Gooden-Mesh has been in the floral business for 37 years. But her business, Gooden’s Floral Shop, has been open for more than 70 years.

And now, she says – “It’s time.”

The Milford staple will close its doors for the last time on March 31, according to Ms. Gooden-Mesh.

“It’s bittersweet, but it was time. It’s been a wonderful journey,” said Donna Clark, who has worked at Gooden’s Floral Shop for 20 years.

Ms. Gooden-Mesh said the transition breaks her heart, but also gives her peace as this step comes to an end.

She and her late husband purchased the business from family after she spent time as a stay-athome- mom.

“I said, and I have to clean this up, ‘I don’t care what Mr. Rogers did today! I’m getting a job.’ So he said, ‘Well, the flower shop is for sale.’ And that was that,” she said of the decision. “ You have to talk to someone besides kids all day.”

The children were never too far, though, since the house is connected to the business by the way of an old, wooden door frame.

“For 37 years, I’ve walked through that doorway and walked to work,” she said. “There were no turn-key kids here. In that way, I think my mother-in-law was way ahead of herself there. They would get off the bus and walk through the door, too. And we were right here.”

Gooden’s Floral Shop is currently under contract, according to Ms. Gooden-Mesh, with March 31 planned as its last day in business. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Gooden’s Floral Shop is currently under contract, according to Ms. Gooden-Mesh, with March 31 planned as its last day in business. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

While she and employees work on the last few orders Gooden’s Floral Shop will ever fulfill, they’re also working on cleaning out the house and business. According to Ms. Gooden-Mesh, it’s finally under contract and she has retirement plans with her husband of seven months, retired state trooper Ted Mesh.

“We’re going to stay on a permanent honeymoon. I was born and raised in Milford and I’m not leaving Milford. I’m just moving two miles down the street,” she said. “But I’ll tell ya, I can’t wait to find out what it’s like to have a holiday. The first one I want to see is Valentine’s Day.”

For Ms. Gooden-Mesh, the transition is a milestone.

“For 70 years, this business was in the same building on the same property and the name was never changed. The house was a happy house. The business was a happy business. I’m going to miss this place.”

DSC_0385

Gooden’s Floral Shop in Milford, Delaware has operated in the same building under the same name in Milford for more than 70 years. But now, Lora Gooden-Mesh says it’s time to finally close. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

 

 

 

 

 

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
My location
Get Directions

 

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.