The Brattle Square Florist, open for more than 100 years, will close next month.
Owner Randy Ricker, who bought the Brattle Street shop nine years ago, says he's reached a business and personal breaking point, with a pandemic on top of everything:
On the business front, challenges continue to mount. Prices for plants, flowers and hard goods have risen dramatically and we are struggling to maintain our margins. Availability of product has never been more challenging. We are not able to attract and retain staff who are critical to our operation. While the store is a magical place to visit, the conditions of our space are also deteriorating. The prospect of continuing operations during an ongoing and unpredictable pandemic is daunting.
On the personal front, I purchased Brattle Square Florist 9 years ago and threw myself into the business enthusiastically. It has been an amazing experience, but the enormous amount of emotional and physical energy it takes to run this business has taken a toll. I have not had Thanksgiving dinner with my family in 9 years. I've had one Sunday off in 20 months. I have frequently worked 30-40 day stretches without a break. Simply put, I can't sustain this effort.
Given these challenges, I do not believe that we can meet the demands of Valentine's Day in February, traditionally our busiest time. In light of that, I have decided to wind down operations in January.