The end of the road for another Gates Circle icon


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After 55 years of filling orders that turned weddings, funerals, and holidays into extra special occasions, The Floristry is one more Gates Circle landmark that will be just a memory, as of the end of the month.

Another neighborhood institution, Millard Fillmore Hospital-a block away on Gates Circle–was closed and demolished three years ago.

Any time a bouquet or a floral arrangement was needed, many Western New Yorkers had the Floristry on speed dial.

The Floristry actually sold its last flowers on January 31. Now all that’s left is 55 years of memories–sharing the good times, the bad times, and the once-in-a-lifetimes, with the shop’s fiercely loyal customers.

But The Floristry has been more than a flower shop, it is a Buffalo institution, and the accolades have been pouring in, since owner Fann Markel announced the end is near.

“I said to one lady, ‘I charge for doing this, so why are people sending me these letters and notes?’ She said because you did more than charge–you cared.”

The Floristry’s reputation has brought orders in from around the country and around the world.

Markel recalls preparing the arrangements for Stephanie Powers’ wedding in 1993, that took her to the east African nation of Kenya. Powers is best known as the better half of a millionaire couple in the “Hart to Hart” TV series from the early 1980’s.

A great adventure, but it was not so much fun for Fann when she ventured out into the wild, “I got covered with ticks, then they told me, you don’t go where it is not sprayed. I didn’t know that.”

Markel and the family-owned Floristry have touched so many lives, and her customers have appreciated the care, “The people that wrote me notes said I was always there for the funerals, the happy times, the sad times. We tried to act like we would want someone to do for us.”

The owner of Hutch’s restaurant, next door on Delaware Avenue, is buying The Floristry property, and once all the merchandise has been removed, Markel said, she has a great-grandchild, and a second one on the way.

At 90 years old, Fann Markel said she would like to spend some time with them.

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