Plymouth flower shop closes after four decades as owner retires
Lori Morrison with her mother Marcia Sayles and Pat Ribar at the ribbon cutting of the florist back in 2000. (Photo: Courtesy of Lori Morrison) Retiring during a pandemic wasn’t the original plan for Lori Morrison. But knowing the turbulent future that potentially lays ahead, she’s decided it’s time for a change.
Her decision to step away means Ribar Floral Company, in business for decades at 728 S. Main in Plymouth, has closed its doors.
Couple the restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic with difficult economic conditions for small-town florists and Morrison said it’s time to move onto another chapter in her life.
"The world is changed now," said Morrison, who lives in Canton. "Back in the day, you used to come to a florist because that’s who sold flowers. That’s not really the case now. Everyone sells it."
The shop has operated in the same space since it was opened by Pat Ribar in the early 1980s. Morrison and her mother Marcia Sayles purchased the shop in 2000, running it for nearly 20 years.
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She did some work at Cardwell Florist in Livonia as well as Ribar Floral Company after high school and began helping out in the shop during holidays and other busy seasons, developing a close relationship with Ribar and her family. She worked outside of floral until Ribar called her to offer her the business. She then left her job and began running the shop.
"I remained friends with Pat Ribar all these years," she said. "So I gave my notice at work and I had called Pat."
There, Morrison spent years working through holidays such as Mother’s Day and Christmas, getting to know local customers and connecting with various organizations and networking events in the Plymouth-Canton area, including the Plymouth Historical Museum, the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and volunteering with Angela Hospice with flowers.
"We’re always trying to do for others," she said.
Then earlier this year, the coronavirus pandemic hit Michigan, forcing her to close her doors temporarily. During that time, she looked ahead to what doing business in a world occupied by COVID-19 looked like. She said she did not want to operate like that and risk her health. So she’s decided to retire.
"While we were closed, every day in the news was something different," she said. "I just said, ‘I think that it’s time.’" ‘I’m going to miss the customers’
Ribar, who still lives down the street from the floral shop, said she was sad to hear the shop still bearing her name would close, but understood why Morrison would decide to do it.She said meeting Morrison decades ago was an important point in her professional life."It would’ve been a monumental task (to stay open). She’s a hard worker, always has been," Ribar said of Morrison. "She does anything you need to do and happy to do it. We did a good thing when we met Lori."Morrison planned to be out of the space […]