Located minutes from the Homewise Orpheum Community Hub lies a quaint flower shop on Fourth Street in Barelas, known as Ives Flower Shop. What you may not know about this shop is that it is one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Albuquerque. Ives Flower Shop has been in business for over 130 years! The shop is rich in history and has transformed over the years from a large-scale greenhouse operation to a small “mom and pop” flower shop. The original owner and namesake of the business was Byron Henry Ives, whose love for growing flowers inspired him to quit his job as a carpenter at the Santa Fe Shops (the railyards) to start planting rose bushes and flowers in a vacant lot at Fourth Street and Baca Avenue (present day Santa Fe Avenue). Ives Greenhouse, as it was called then, was prosperous and its operations once took up the entire block of Fourth Street between Atlantic and Santa Fe Ave!
Ives Flower Shop has changed hands and locations throughout the span of those 130 years. Rosemary and Joseph Gonzales are the current owners of the shop and have owned it for 40 years. They purchased the business from the second owner, Louise Clark Schaffner, whose family owned it for many years. When the Gonzales’s purchased the shop, Rosemary knew nothing about flowers so she tutored with Schaffner to learn the ins and outs of the flower business. Present day, Rosemary is in charge of daily operations. I met with Rosemary to talk about the shop and her time as proprietor of the business.
How has business changed over the years?
It changed dramatically when the city cut off Fourth Street. That was when business started declining. With a downgrade in traffic, I think it put a lot of burden on people and businesses in this area. In better times, Byron Ives donated money to the local Methodist church (of which he was an active member) for stained glass windows and there is still a scholarship available in Ives’s name at UNM.
What is your favorite part of owning a flower shop?
I love making people happy. I like to make memories for people when I bring beautiful flowers to them.
What makes Ives Flower Shop stand out compared to other florists?
Dedication. Quality. Quality is very important. Also personalized service.
Rosemary creates beautiful and custom bouquets for all occasions and all price points. If you are looking for personalized and friendly service, stop by Ives Flower Shop for your floral needs. Ives Flower Shop is open Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. You can find Ives Flower Shop on Facebook and their website www.ivesflowershop.com.