The sign on the front of the store at Walter Knoll Florist in Ballwin is still partially damaged, though thankfully for the store’s namesake and owner, that may be the only remnant of last year’s damage.
A fire occurred on Nov. 22 after a fluorescent sign inside the store overheated and sparked a flame on the surrounding flower arrangements. A passer-by alerted 9/11, which prevented the fire from consuming the store. However, owner Walter Knoll said the smoke and soot made the store inoperable.
“Florist do about one third of business between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Knoll said. “The family got together and decided to rebuild the store from scratch as soon as possible.”
And they did.
The walls, tiles and furniture were replaced, as the store underwent a makeover.
Now, less than a month after the businesses reopened its doors, Knoll hopes that a new year and new look will reinvigorate the business.
“We have been in business in the area for seven years,” Knoll said. “We are committed to this community. We knew we had to recover quickly, and now we have a beautiful new store with a new look open.”
Tori Hopkins, assistant store manager, said she was very upset when she first found out about the fire.
“It was very depressing, the work you put into some of those arrangements, gone,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said that thanks to teamwork, however, the business’s reopening didn’t take long.
“It was almost a miracle how quickly we were able to restore the store,” Hopkins said.
As Valentines Day approaches, Knoll said all the stores, which includes five other Walter Knolls Florists and four additional businesses, are working hard to get things ready for one of the busiest days in the business.
“Christmas is a marathon,” Knoll said. “But Valentine’s is a sprint.”