It’s been a long and wonderful ride!
Roorbach’s has been a part of Manitowoc County since 1952 – my sister, Harriet and I were raised here, graduated from Lincoln High School, went away to school and came back to raise our own children here. However, all good things must come to an end. Our sons, Alex and Stuart, had other interests after college and so Jim and I never pushed them to be the third generation of Roorbach’s in Manitowoc.
We will miss the many dear, dear friends we have made over the years; in this business, you become a part of your customer’s families assisting them when they have special events in their lives – weddings, funerals, new babies, and all the other occasions that come around each year. Holidays were always special as we helped our customers prepare for their family celebrations. However, often times our family was left being too exhausted to arrange for a celebration of our own. Now, we will be able to enjoy our family celebrations with our three (so far) young grandsons. We will be able to spend time with Stuart, Alexis and Oliver in Florida next winter at Stuart’s next Navy assignment. And, Jim can be “on call” for Alex and Justine to help with their new house projects – with Samuel and Shepard tagging right along after grandpa!
We have always enjoyed the many opportunities available in Manitowoc County. We will now be able to attend the Symphony, the Wind Ensemble, the summer music events and all the other arts presentations. We’ll be taking a step back, but we’ll still be around. We have weddings booked for this summer and other events that come up daily that we are pleased to still be assisting with. So, don’t worry, we’ll be here. And, actually, it will be business as usual until our building is sold.
With love to our dear friends,
Claire Roorbach Olson
In 1952, Harry & Julia Roorbach, moving to Manitowoc from Lake Forest, IL., bought the former Hamilton greenhouse from Albert "Curly" Weber . Mr. Weber kept the Hamilton's Flowers portion of the original business, the flower shop on N 8th & Maritime Dr. now known as The Flower Gallery.
A small retail flower shop was a part of the original greenhouse range. Over the years, the retail shop was remodeled and repositioned to face So. 29th St. In 1993, a major expansion and reconfiguration of the entire business placed the retail store facing Custer St. The old, leaky glass greenhouses were raised and replaced with a new, technically modern structure. Improvements continued in the greenhouses to make them more accessible (wider concrete aisles) and "customer friendly" (Radio Flyer wagons) for the busy spring gardening season.
Our industry is in a constant state of change. As the big box stores have discovered that people like plants and flowers, they have changed many of our flower shop/garden center products into commodities. We have had to redesign ourselves within the market making sure that our customers know we provide a higher quality product plus the additional services and information needed to insure that they are successful with their plant and flower purchases.