Moving from Manhattan to Staten Island has created an energetic new start for Langdon Florist of Tribeca
Joe Rizzo, owner of Langdon Florist of Tribeca, knows a thing or two about moving. He was born in Sicily, Italy, and when he was a young child his parents moved the family across the Atlantic Ocean to America. This past year, Joe was involved in another move, relocating his business from Manhattan in the heart of New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood to Staten Island, one of the city’s outer boroughs.
“The shop originally opened in 1947 and it was owned by a man named Frank Langdon,” says Joe. “I purchased the business in 1983 and by then Langdon Florist was already an institution in Tribeca.” For the next 35 years, Joe
“Making the move from Manhattan was bittersweet. However we love our new location…and we’re looking forward to continuing growth and success in the future.” – Joe Rizzo
continued to grow the business, nurturing strong relationships in the surrounding community and throughout the Big Apple.
He points out that those relationships have included several New York City mayors, most recently current Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I recall when Chirlane McCray (the City’s first lady) and Bill were dating,” says Joe. “Chirlane would stop by the shop, pick out some flowers she liked and say ‘Tell Bill to get those for me.’ And when they got married, we did the bridal arrangements.”
Although the shop was a fixture in Tribeca, the costs of operating the business in Manhattan had been steadily and substantially increasing over the years. Added to that, Joe commuted from his home in Staten Island…no small tasks considering New York City’s legendary traffic…and he wanted to alleviate the tedious trek to Tribeca each day.
What’s more, moving the shop close to home in Staten Island enabled Joe’s two daughters – Gracie Rizzo and Stephanie Doiban – to get involved in the family business. Joe takes great pride in the work ethic he has passed onto his daughters and he fondly tells a story about Gracie, when she was 9 years old, playing with flowers in the shop and creating her own floral arrangement. “I ended up selling the arrangement for $20, and when I got home that day I gave her the money,” Joe states. “She then asked me when she could come to work for me.”
Of course, relocating the business has had its own set of challenges, not the least of which was re-establishing the shop in a new neighborhood. Joe and his staff held a special grand opening celebration shortly after the move, welcoming the Staten Island community with open arms.
In addition, social media…Instagram in particular…is playing a major role in connecting with local customers and prospects. Local news media is also an important part of the mix. For example, The Staten Island Advance and its silive.com website has featured Langdon Florist of Tribeca and its commitment to creating beautiful floral arrangements for the people of Staten Island and their recipients.
“Making the move from Manhattan was bittersweet,” admits Joe. “However we love our new location in Staten Island, we have a beautiful shop, my daughters are here to help me, we’re reinvigorated, and we’re looking forward to continuing growth and success in the future.”