One of Hancock’s longest running businesses, Stoner’s Florist & Greenhouse, is celebrating 55 years of providing fresh and silk flowers for all occasions to the area’s customers.
“My parents Homer and Mary Stoner started this business 55 years ago this spring,” said Dianne Stoner McCusker, who now owns and operates the florist and greenhouse.
The business has expanded to include garden and flower plants, herbs, succulents and houseplants, McCusker said last week in her shop at 139 Washington St. in Hancock.
“Mom always loved flowers,” McCusker said. And she would visit her friend who had a Hancock florist shop along the B&O Canal – Ella Mae Hopkins Flower Shop, she said.
She said Ella Mae told her mom that she wanted to retire and that “Mom should go in the business, and they did,” McCusker said.
When the Stoners started the florist business, they had four greenhouses to grow the flowers to provide for the shop.
But before the flower shop existed, Homer Stoner had a garage at that location. He was a mechanic in World War II and learned the trade. She said they lost that business from a fire and her father was burned badly, too.
She said her parents were hard workers — Homer in the garage and Mary worked in the elementary school as a cook until they started the florist business.
McCusker began working full time with her parents in the shop in 1971.
Even as a teenager, she said when they were delivering flowers during busy holidays, she would begin preparing the evening meal to help get it ready when they returned home to their house close by.
She said when her daughters were born, they would play in the shop while their mother and grandparents were working.
“Daddy said he wanted to go with his shoes on,” McCusker said. He died in 2003 at 81.
“Mom died in 2008 at 85,” she said.
“While I was working, Mom would sit and talk to the customers in the shop,” she said. “The customers enjoyed that and looked forward to talking to her because it felt like visiting my mother in her home.”
The shop is filled with memorabilia honoring her family, which is most important, she said. A portrait of Homer and Mary Stoner hangs on the wall above the counter.
She said her father was a volunteer with the Hancock Fire Company for years and her son-in-law put up a display with Homer’s fire hat and boots in his honor in the shop entrance. McCusker added her grandfather’s army boots from World War I to the display.
The flower shop is a family tradition that has many warm memories for McCusker that she continues to make as part of Hancock’s rich history.
“I’m lucky to be surrounded with these precious memories.”
Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Closed on Sunday. The flower shop is located at 139 W ashington St. in Hancock. They can be reached at 301-678-6167.
“Stop by just to see me,” McCusker said. “And see my Easter and Mother’s Day arrivals.”