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A visit to the emergency room confirmed what Bridget Fitzgibbons-Peterson had suspected for a while: Her daughter, Meredith, was allergic to something in the flowers at their store.
“By the time she got there, the first thing they said was this is life or death,” Fitzgibbons-Peterson said.
After the medical staff was able to calm down the symptoms, “she was basically told her best defense would be wearing big rubber gloves, and you can’t do that at a flower shop. It’s something that won’t get better, and it’s not something we can treat. We don’t know exactly what she’s touched that sets it off.”
So they started to look for a buyer for Meredith & Bridget’s Flower Shop, which they opened in 2012 at 3422 S. Minnesota Ave.
It turned out they didn’t have to look beyond longtime employee Jill Knochenmus.
“Jill stepped up and said she would love to buy it,” Fitzgibbons-Peterson said. “And it’s a thriving shop she’s getting. We’re doing very well.”
Knochenmus is a veteran of the industry who plans to focus on daily floral business while referring weddings to another employee.
The store will be renamed Botanica early next year. The current owners will run it until Dec. 23. It likely will close for a brief time at Christmas and reopen in January 2018.
Fitzgibbons-Peterson, who just turned 60, plans to work part time to help transition.
“I had wanted to kind of back off, and that was my plan, and if Meredith isn’t able to be in it, I don’t want to be in it without her. We just feel very blessed someone wants to take it on.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The new name for the flower shop has been corrected since this article was first published.
The owners of Meredith & Bridget’s Flower Shop are selling to an employee who will carry on the business and evolve it.