By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Mountaineer Florist & Gifts is continuing the tradition of family and quality service that was started 66 years ago.
George and Carol DelRosso recently sold their Mannington business, Snider’s Florist & Gifts, to Jennifer and Doug Toothman. On Dec. 21, the Toothmans officially took over the retail floral shop, located at 111 Market St., and changed its name.
The DelRossos have been helping the new owners during the transition and plan to continue working with them until Valentine’s Day. After that, it’ll be Jennifer and Doug’s time to do things their own way, but Carol said she and George will still be available to answer questions or give advice.
Carol explained that her parents, Edwin and Harriet Snider, started Snider’s Florist & Gifts in 1946 in a building on Water Street that they leased. Then in the early ’60s, they came across the A.K. Modi Building on Market Street, which was built in 1917 and used to house a hardware business, and decided to buy the store and the apartment above it.
Carol said her uncle was an architect and drew up the design plans, and another uncle was a carpenter and did the construction. Snider’s Florist & Gifts moved into its new home around 1967.
Carol and George met in the Navy. George had a job with a florist in New York and knew all about retail, and Carol had been part of her family’s business since she was a kid.
They worked together at Snider’s Florist & Gifts for about 10 years, and then bought the business from Carol’s parents on Dec. 1, 1985. That happened to be Carol and George’s wedding anniversary.
The business has always focused on providing top quality and great service to the area and taking care of families, Carol said.
“We’ve done this for 37 years. and we want to do something different,” she said of their decision to sell Snider’s Florist & Gifts. “It’s a change of scenery.
“We’d like to take an opportunity to thank all of the costumers that we’ve had over the years. We’ve just been very blessed.”
This is a semi-retirement for Carol and George, who plan to spend their time doing some farming. Carol said the new owners are a great fit for the shop.
“We’re just tickled to death that Doug and Jennifer are excited about it,” she said.
Jennifer, originally from Ohio, has a background in the garden center industry and worked as an intern for Dick Adgate Florist in Warren, Ohio. Gardening has been one of her interests for many years, and she enjoys working in her garden at home.
Doug is from the Katy area, where he and Jennifer live today and attend Willow Tree Baptist Church. He currently works at Mylan Pharmaceuticals and was previously a security supervisor at the Alan B. Mollohan Building in Fairmont.
While Jennifer takes care of the crafty side of Mountaineer Florist & Gifts, Doug handles the business side of the operations. Jennifer said both of them had a dream of starting a local, family-owned and operated business.
“We base our business on Christian values with 100 percent customer satisfaction,” she said.
The store does floral arrangements, centerpieces, vases and special-order dish gardens.
Behind the shop is a small, grassy area with a screened-in porch, and Jennifer and Doug plan to create a mini garden center there in the spring. The space will feature hanging baskets, perennials and combination planters as well as seasonal items, such as pumpkins and mums in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter.
To get ready for Valentine’s Day, people can pre-order arrangements or buy balloon bouquets, teddy bears or Betsy Ann Chocolates. In terms of other gifts, the shop carries inspirational throw blankets, Books of Love, pottery, crocks, bird houses, all-natural hand soaps and more.
The store offers the same pricing and the same types of items as Snider’s Florist & Gifts did, but is adding to that, Jennifer said.
"We're bringing in new inventory on a daily basis,” she said.
They have kept all of Snider’s clients and are getting new customers, too. Jennifer said business at the store has been great in the last month.
“We've been very busy,” she said. “Mannington has really welcomed us with open arms. We're just really excited to be here."
The Toothmans have created a website, mountaineerflorist.com, and a Facebook page for Mountaineer Florist & Gifts to help get the store’s name out.
The business is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 304-986-1477.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.