Welch Florist Buys Tony the Florist

Welch Florist has bought Tony the Florist on Western Avenue, creating a merger at the popular store located at 121

Keith Saunders (right), owner of Welch Florist, is pictured with wedding and event coordinator David Nunes outside the store that is located at 121 Essex St. Welch Florist recently purchased Tony the Florist.

Essex Street, Lynn.

Keith Saunders, owner of Welch Florist, has been inviting current and past Tony the Florist’s customers to visit his store. Welch Florist is in its 71st year of operation while Tony the Florist, which was established by Antonio Vernava in 1932, has closed its doors.

Joe and Margaret Ciota owned and ran Tony the Florist for many years. Tony (Antonio) was Margaret’s father.

Interestingly, one of the former owners of Welch Florist, the late Thomas Welch, trained to be a florist at Tony the Florist before opening his own store.

“There is a connection,” said Saunders.

Saunders, 59, who also serves as a designer and flowers buyer, directs a staff of floral experts that includes customer service manager Robin Kimber, wedding and event coordinator David Nunes, customer service representatives Thai Iv and Jake Mor, and delivery coordinator David Pellegrini.

Saunders was a manager at Purity Supreme Markets before he purchased Welch Florist in 1987.

“I jumped in for a lifetime career,” said Saunders, whose business is a member of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce and the North Shore Latino Business Association.

Saunders is excited about the merger and the many Tony the Florist customers who are coming to his store.

“We’re welcoming all Tony the Florist customers current and past,” said Saunders. “Please give us try. We guarantee 100-percent satisfaction.”

The store has been helping customers with their floral needs for weddings, quinceneras, Sweet 16 parties, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, sympathy work, holidays, and special occasions.

“We’re doing the floral arrangements for a lot of fall weddings right now,” said Saunders, who’s already making plans  for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

What is the busiest time of the year at Welch?

“Valentine’s is the busiest day of the year,” he said. “Mother’s Day is the busiest time of the year.”

Welch is using the latest technology to assist customers.

“We now have online inventories of farm-fresh products that allows us to get flowers from the Netherlands, Canada, South America, Canada,” said Saunders. “ “Everything is available and we can get them quickly. Technology has changed the business a lot.”

Saunders said the floral industry is flourishing. “Every year more flowers are being sold throughout the world. But for us, we pride ourselves on high quality flowers and great customer service. If you want something special, come to us because we’re a florist.”

As word has trickled out about the purchase, Welch has received several congratulatory wishes from his longtime customers and his new Tony the Florist customers.

Customers are invited to visit the Welch Florist Web site at www.welchflowers.com

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