Jim and Ruth Hartman, longtime owners of Hartman Floral and Greenhouses in Perry, worked a morning shift Wednesday and then turned over the shop to its new owners, saying they will miss their friends and customers but looking forward to energetic grandparenthood.
In a farewell message posted Saturday, the Hartmans offered a “huge thank you to Perry and all of our customers over the past 24 years.”
The Hartman’s greenhouse has some history behind it. It was the largest greenhouse in the state when it was built, according to Jim Hartman, and it was owned and operated for many years by Sanford H. Lones and his son, Lee Lones. They called it Pansyland.
The store was later known as Schappaugh’s Florist and was owned from the early 1940s by Don and Barb Sass. The Sasses ran the shop for 50 years and stayed on after the Hartmans took on the ownership roles in 1992, with Don Sass passing away in 2007 and Barb in 2008.
Finishing up the last of their labors Wednesday morning, Ruth Hartman packed away a statue of St Joseph that had soil clinging to it.
“Our realtor told us that if we buried this Saint Joseph statue upside down, the place would be sure to sell,” she said. “I guess it worked. We just dug him up from the begonias.”
Trish Roberts and Denise Lavan of Perry recently bought the store from the Hartmans and will continue Perry’s pansyland tradition in their own way.
“You have brought us many years of happiness and success,” the Hartmans said on their Facebook page Saturday. “Please support the new owners, Trish and Denise, as they continue the business as a flower shop, greenhouse and gift shop. We are already seeing unopened boxes of goodies arrive and can’t wait to shop.”
Many expressions of gratitude and affection were posted in reply to the Hartmans’ message, and friends and well wishers threw a surprise retirement party Mondsay at the shop.
“Thank you for all you have done for this community,” said Amy Forsmark Benjamin. “I will miss seeing your smiles and friendly faces when I come in or call. Congratulations on your retirement! It is well deserved. You both are such good, hard-working people.”
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