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Florist Fulfills Lifelong Dream In Sanatoga

Colleen Rodgers points to an old space heater that now is an attraction in her new Sanatoga florist shop

Colleen Rodgers points to an old space heater that now is an attraction in her new Sanatoga florist shop

SANATOGA PA – Rick Rodgers denies any credit for helping his wife reach the milestone that is marked by this morning’s (Saturday, March 12, 2016) grand opening for Flowers By Colleen, a florist and gift shop at 2296 E. High St. that is Sanatoga’s newest retailer. “It’s all her effort,” he humbly said, as he pointed to a smiling Colleen Rodgers posing for photos behind her cash register.

Nonsense, she essentially replied. “This has been my lifelong dream, and Rick has helped make my dream come true,” she said.

For the Upper Pottsgrove Township couple, that dream-turned-reality now consists of a florist business affiliated with the BloomNation national flower order-and-delivery system, a gift shop that features carefully selected hand-made products created by artisans from across Eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and a flower-inspired specialty shop that sells chocolates and bottled floral elixirs.

All three are located in a compact and relatively small building that once served as a farm machinery repair garage. It’s located on the south side of East High, near its intersection with Hause Avenue and across the street from Rick’s Auto Care.

Although the open house today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. officially launches their venture, Colleen has been busy during the past week filling a raft of orders. Finding time to attend to last-minute details in the shop as well as ensuring bouquets and arrangements were delivered on time was a little trying, she said, but both she and customers seem happy.

More than happy, actually. Lower Pottsgrove resident Rosemarie Ross, whose name for many years appeared as a byline on sports articles in The (Pottstown) Mercury, said Friday (March 11) her granddaughter sent her a “really gorgeous” Flowers By Colleen arrangement earlier in the week that had been ordered from upstate New York though BloomNation. “I was so impressed,” Ross claimed.

Colleen Rodgers as she prepared for an event at Longwood Gardens

Colleen Rodgers as she prepared for an event at Longwood Gardens

Rodgers has enjoyed similar praise for much of her 30 years as a florist, and particularly during the past 14 years as a floral design special contractor with Longwood Gardens. She created arrangements, centerpieces and displays for special events, dinners and meetings conducted by the nationally recognized horticultural display garden in Kennett Square PA.

At Flowers By Colleen, Rodgers said she can rely on the sense of aesthetics and visual wonder developed through her work at Longwood and apply them on a “smaller scale” to arrangements for local clients. She’s already been contacted, she said, about work on upcoming weddings.

The couple thinks the shop is as unique and curiously interesting as they know Colleen’s future floral pieces will be. They were attracted to the location by three large and inviting windows on its south (rear) wall, its roof line, and its “cool-looking features,” Rick said. Many of the items and structural elements they found inside have been re-purposed and reused. The cashier’s counter, for instance, is made from old doors and topped by wooden shelving.

The countertop at Flowers By Colleen, made of original 1940s shelving imprinted with the word "Sanatoga"

The counter top at Flowers By Colleen, made of 1940s shelving imprinted with the word “Sanatoga”

Lifelong Lower Pottsgrove resident and township Fire Marshal Lew Babel recalls the location first opened in the 1940s as a farm equipment repair shop operated by Carl Dunmar, who also became a dealer for International Harvester farm tractors and implements.

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