In 1887, the Stein family delivered flowers throughout Philadelphia via horse and buggy.
The horse and buggies might be gone, but more than 125 years later, Frankford Avenue’s Stein Florist is trying to maintain the same sense of professional and business ethnics the family founded the company on. But in a more 21st century kind of way.
Owner Patrick Kelly, who has been with Stein’s for more than 30 years, said the shop is all about servicing the public and never saying no to someone. “We’ve had requests that most florists would turn down because of the time and difficulty of the arrangements,” Kelly said. “We often get people coming in here saying their florist recommended us because they knew we can accommodate any of their needs in a timely manner.”
Devoted customers keep the flower shop bustling, but Stein’s has also embraced technology and pop culture to help advertise the business.
Kelly and his staff have created a video in which they parody Psy’s “Gangnam Style” by making their own video titled “Oppa Stein Your Florist Style!” When viewed side-by-side, the parody mimics almost every scene from the original.
Stein’s also released a PSA against bullying, which is also available on YouTube. “We made sure all the information we wanted to use in the video was accurate and once we did, we went around the neighborhood asking other businesses and shop owners if they wanted to be in it and many said yes,” Kelly said.
“They have managed to get their name out more, and being on the web now will really help, since people are relying so much more on technology,” said 24-year-old customer Stephanie Huhn. The Mayfair resident calls the Stein’s staff “excellent, friendly and helpful.”
Be it the 21st century or the 19th, Stein’s has relied on customers like Huhn to support local business. That loyalty was tested back in 2001 when a December fire gutted the building.
“We were closed for 10 months and honestly didn’t know if people would come back,” Kelly said. “But when we reopened, customers were coming in crying because they were so happy to see us reopen.”
Ryan McDonald is a student reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.