Early on the morning of August 6th, 2011, Ernie and Cindy Frederickson received a call that Everett Floral, the business they’ve been operating for 23 years, was on fire. The fire destroyed nearly all of their inventory and caused extensive damage. Investigators determined it to be arson and arrested a 15-year-old boy who was reportedly mad about his family situation. He didn’t know the Fredericksons, didn’t have any beef with the Flower Shop but spray painted horrible things on a delivery van outside of the building and set a storage area ablaze. The fire spread to the shop building resulting in a $200,000.00 damage estimate. He was eventually arrested and received a month’s detention and was put on probation for his crime. The cost to rebuild the business has exceeded the damage estimate by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I had no idea that I’d be sitting here nine months later still trying to open,” said Cindy Frederickson. “Our kids were literally raised here, the office walls were covered with family photos. We have to give it our best shot. We will rally.”
One fortunate thing for the Frederickson’s was they were fully insured. Both for the building and contents as well as employee wages. An unexpected challenge was bringing a building that was built in the 40s up to today’s codes. “We had to rewire the entire building,” said Ernie Frederickson. “Managing the rebuilding process and dealing with the insurance company is a full-time job in itself.”
Because of the code and permitting issues, one Holiday after another passed pushing the re-opening day beyond Valentine’s Day and Easter. The Frederickson’s are happy they will be open for Mother’s Day. “It’s about a nine month season between Fall and Mother’s Day when florists do the majority of their business,” said Cindy Frederickson. “Another month goes by, another Holiday missed.”
With competition from grocery store chains that sell a dozen roses for $9.99 or less and people being out of the habit of stopping and calling Everett Floral for nearly a year the Frederickson’s know they have a lot of work to do. “People can buy flowers anywhere,” said Ernie Frederickson. “We provide the service the big stores can’t and we have 23 years of loyal customers we hope to see now that we’re back.”
The official re-opening will happen this Saturday April 28th from 10am – 2pm. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will be there along with family, friends and long-time customers. The Frederickson’s are taking orders by phone right now at (425) 339-9033 and are reconnecting with customers on their Everett Floral Facebook page.