When White’s Country Floral opened its doors on Clarks Summit’s Depot Street in 1977, little did they know that they would eventually become one of the most respected names in the floral business.
Recently, the White family sold the business to Brian McCarthy, whose family has owned Dunmore-based McCarthy Flowers since 1952.
“The Abingtons have been our family’s home for almost 50 years; with that in mind, we’ve always had tremendous respect for White’s,” McCarthy said. “We watched them go from a brand-new start- up to one of the most admired florists in all of northern Pennsylvania, not just regionally but all over.”
When Jennifer White Michaels decided to leave the family business, she contacted McCarthy, who was keen on making a purchase. McCarthy insists that the business is still White’s, just with the added benefit of his family’s expertise.
“We bring tremendous buying power to the table,” he said. “Not only does McCarthy’s have five stores in Lackawanna County, with this addition of White’s, we also have 33 other stores outside of Pennsylvania. It gives us a tremendous economy of scale to keep the prices competitive, which is crucial today.”
What McCarthy might not have expected was that all of White’s employees, some of whom had been with the company for more than 15 years, all remained.
“People in the Abingtons need to hear that we are still White’s, the staff is still the same but Brian does bring in excellent buying power,” said Cathy Van Fleet, who has worked at White’s for 15 years. “We’re all striving to keep the same service, quality and attention we’ve had all these years. People in the Abingtons like a florist where they know your name, we’re still that florist.”
McCarthy plans on continuing a further branding process for White’s, including an increased presence on social media as well as participation in the Abington Business and Professional Association’s monthly Downtown Go Around. Sales and special events coordinator Susie Sugerman already has plans for a bridal expo as well as floral arranging lessons.
“When you work in a flower shop, almost all the purchases are by people doing something non self-consumptive. In other words, they are doing it to bring joy to other people,” McCarthy said. “The customers are virtually always buying something to make someone else feel good. It could be for a simple reason or a serious reason. You’re normally dealing with very caring, selfless people who are doing nice things they aren’t required to do.”
“Flowers aren’t a requirement,” he continued. “When people come in, they are trying to lift someone’s spirits. When you’re dealing with those people all day long, it makes your day nice. You go home and say, ‘I haven’t really talked to any mean people.’”
White’s Country Floral is located at 515 S. State St., Clarks Summit. Hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Whites-Country-Floral/210372122484199 or call 570-586-2505 for more information.