WALLINGFORD — Wallingford Flower and Gift Shoppe owner Ann Greco turned 92 on Friday, and her family presented her with a mayoral proclamation declaring Friday as Ann Greco Day.
“I love it here, and I love people,” said Greco, who still works six days a week and has no plans to retire. “The public has become our friends as well as our customers, because we’ve been here so long. They come in to see me and we chat, and it’s very nice.”
Greco has operated the shop in the same location, 150 Center St., since 1950. Her husband and co-owner, Salvatore Greco, died in 2007.
Salvatore Greco designed the flower arrangements, while Ann Greco worked the counter – greeting customers and answering the phone – and kept the books. Ann Greco’s brother, Sal Spada, created the window dressings for several years.
Running a small florist shop has changed during the last 70 years.
“We have a lot of competition right now,” Greco said, “with the stores and the florists in town, but we have a lot of weddings and funerals that keep us going.”
Doreen Yanelli, Greco’s daughter, contacted Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.’s office a couple weeks ago and asked if he would mark the occasion and acknowledge her contributions to the local business community.
“He was more than happy to do that,” Yanelli said.
The mayor’s office issued the proclamation on Sept. 28.
“I’m used to bring proud of my mother and father,” Yanelli said. “They are Wallingford.”
Greco had three children, and has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
“The Wallingford Flower and Gift Shoppe has created beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements for countless special occasions,” the proclamation stated, “which have touched the lives of many of us throughout the years.”
When she’s not at the shop, Greco said she enjoys the company of her family and relaxing at home. She’s a parishioner of Most Holy Trinity Church, a former volunteer at the Masonicare Gift Shop and was involved with other civic groups.
While they’re thrilled with the public recognition, the family plans to celebrate Greco’s birthday privately today.
On Friday, friends and customers called Greco to wish her a happy birthday. She even got a long distance call from her niece in Italy.
“I don’t speak Italian very well, but we did OK,” Greco said.