Das Hardin had to mortgage a 1976 Oldsmobile to get the money to open his first flower shop in June 1980. But 30 years and one location change later, his Village Flower Company is a local institution.
Hardin operated the Country Store Floral and Gifts shop at 95th Street and Nall Avenue for 12 years until he saw the opportunity to move into his current location at 6978 Mission Road in 1992.
“When we moved in, there wasn’t much here,” he said. “There was a cooler that wouldn’t get below 55 degrees, and one small table where they did all the work. We scrubbed and cleaned for three days before we could open up.”
Today, after several renovations — including major investments in the walk in cooler, which now gets down to the 37 degrees necessary to keep flowers from deteriorating — the store has a log full of long time customers.
“People were eager for a flower shop in this location, so it’s been a good situation,” he said. “We’re very happy in the Village.”
To commemorate the anniversary, Hardin has had some perfect t-shirts printed up: