Getting to Know . . .
Floral Designer and Manager
Celebrating 65 Years of Floral Beauty & Excellent Customer Service
The year was 1951. Harry Truman was President of the US; the average family income was $3,700; average cost of a new home was $9,000; gas was 19 cents a gallon; I Love Lucy made its TV debut; entrepreneurs Bill and Madge Kuhlmann, opened the doors of their new business, Kirkwood Florist, in July, 1951 and welcomed their adorable baby boy, Eric, in the same year.
Fast forward to 2016. Eric’s son, Floral Designer and Manager Jon Kuhlmann is the third generation of this oldest family owned and operated florist in the Kirkwood-Des Peres area and he is in the midst of celebrating the company’s 65th anniversary.
Watch For Fun Anniversary Events
Kirkwood Florist’s anniversary kick-off event, earlier this year, was a hugely successful BAH with wall-to-wall Chamber members in attendance. Jon will be announcing several celebrations during the month of July,
A Long, Distinguished History
“My grandparent’s first location was at 1041 N. Kirkwood Road. In 1959 they purchased our present building at 10515 Manchester Road, renovating it from its former occupant, Zip’s Steak House,” he explains. “My dad was just six months old.”
Jon worked in the shop while a student, learning all aspects of the business, just as his father had done. Following graduation from Kirkwood High School and college, Jon started working fulltime at the Florist. Jon’s brother Andrew, also helped at the store, but his passion for the law lead him to become an attorney.
Kirkwood and Des Peres have had a long love affair with flowers, possibly prompted in part by an abundance of greenhouses throughout these cities plus a plethora of Garden Clubs.
Kirkwood Florist has been a member of Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD) for over 55 years and has achieved the prestigious status of being a top 250 member of FTD. They are able to take your flower order and have them delivered for you locally, nationally or internationally.
Special Greeter at the Shop
For many years there has been a family pet available to greet customers at the shop. Everyone misses the presence of much-loved Buddy, whose ultimate goal in welcoming customers was to be petted. At age 13, he recently died. A rescued young bulldog, named Tara, in honor of St Louis Blues Hockey player, Vladimir Tarasenko, has now taken up residence at the Florist, and like Buddy appreciates being petted.
Here Comes the Brides
Weddings are a special life occasion brimming with tradition, so with multi-generations having gone to Kirkwood Florist to have their wedding flowers designed, many brides-to-be want to continue this custom. It brings back lovely memories for the brides of the past and adds another layer of happiness to the bride’s special day. “We prepare the flowers for many brides whose mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother have asked us to design their wedding flowers years before.
There are few examples of ever-changing taste than in a bride’s bouquet. “For many years brides wanted cascading bouquets. That has changed with a tightly packed, compact bundle of flowers now being the top choice. The flower most asked for is the Peony but we’re happy to make available whatever the bride wishes.”
“It’s best for brides-to-be to come into the shop six to nine months before the wedding so all details can be worked out for their very special day.” When it comes to weddings, Jon has a lot of professional experience, also personal since his wife Nicole’s own wedding flowers were designed by Kirkwood Florist.
He and Nicole are proud parents of Morgan, 11, and Tyler Jonathon, 8, and live in Des Peres. They chose to purchase a house near Westchester Elementary School, so their children can attend the same school as Jon did when he was a child.
Art In Bloom Award for Jon
Thanks to the availability of exotic flowers and the large variety of organic materials, Jon’s talent continues to expand. This was certainly evident in his being awarded an Honorable Mention at the Art In Bloom event held this spring at the St. Louis Art Museum. According to the Museum, the event featured 37 “imaginative displays celebrating works of art in the Museum’s collection.”
Amazing and Appreciated Generosity
Kirkwood Florist has been an enormously generous community sponsor and donor, as evidenced by their floral donations to the Chamber and many area charitable events. All of us are grateful to this wonderful company for adding beauty to so many meaningful life occasions.
Jon Enjoys His Chamber Membership
“I’ve enjoyed networking and meeting other Chamber members, learning how they handle various situations, etc. Actually, going to Chamber events has helped me to be a little more open.”
Stop By for That Special Business or Personal Gift
Jon invites all Chamber members to stop by their conveniently located store, at 10515 Manchester Road in Kirkwood or visit online at www.KirkwoodFlorist.com or call him at 314.965.8440 In addition to gorgeous flowers, the shop also feature a variety of green plants, wreaths, greeting cards, etc Whatever the event, you can be confident you’ll give a gift you will be proud to present.
Star Sapphire Anniversary
A star sapphire is the precious stone for the 65 year anniversary. Apropos since Kirkwood Florist has had a stellar presence in the lives of so many of us.
Watch For Fun Anniversary Events
Kirkwood Florist’s anniversary kick-off event early this year was a hugely successful BAH with wall-to-wall Chamber members in attendance. Jon will be announcing several celebrations during the month of July, including one being kept totally secret.