A floral business opening its doors to the public is rarely headline news — or a reason for a visit from the mayor of a major U.S. city.
But in Indianapolis Thursday, reporters from local CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox affiliates and Mayor Joe Hogsett (wearing a rose on his lapel) gathered to celebrate McNamara Florist with a ribbon cutting that highlighted both the business’s newest location and its commitment to the revitalization of a once blighted area of the city.
“What I hope to see next are entrepreneurs, artists, manufacturers and innovators following in McNamara’s footsteps by finding unique spaces and resources in the Mass. Avenue-Brookside area and being part of this neighborhood revitalization,” Hogsett told reporters and a gathered crowd of about 150 people.
McNamara Florist moved it headquarters and distribution center from Fishers, Indiana, to the 176,000-square-foot warehouse along Ludlow Avenue in June after a lengthy renovation process; the warehouse had been abandoned for five years and was in desperate need of extensive rehab, according to owner Toomie Farris, AAF, AIFD.
The Mass. Ave. area has been targeted for revitalization by numerous agencies — an effort that has begun to bring about real change, according to Farris.
“The first mile of the corridor, the mile that’s closest to downtown, has really exploded with bars and restaurants,” he explained, adding that the second mile of the stretch, where McNamara Florist is located, is beginning to come back to life, too, a fact that hasn’t been lost on the media and regional leaders.
“We made the move because it made sense for our business,” Farris said, “It’s a better distribution point. But the media exposure throughout has been phenomenal,” with stories and write-ups not only surrounding the ribbon cutting last week but also throughout the renovation process.
Community members have been vocal in expressing their excitement, too.
“I was speaking to a garden club a couple weeks ago, and during the Q&A, a lady said, ‘I just want to thank you for reinvesting in our city,’” Farris said.
The new McNamara Florist, which includes a showroom along with warehouse and office space, represents the company’s ninth location in the broader region.