Local florist delays retirement as her business goes full bloom

Jan 23, 2019

Entrepreneurship among seniors is trending in the United States and research shows that people 50 and older are opting to turn a business idea into a rewarding and profit-making retirement plan. 

When you walk into Maureen’s Wholesale Flower Market in Downtown Buffalo, it's a pretty exciting place. As colorful, exotic flower deliveries are being carried out the door, floral designers put the final touches on bouquets and fill vases with a wide range of flower arrangements.

Buffalo entrepreneur Maureen Bartley is the owner and former wholesale florist and buyer.

She’s a mother of two children and three grandchildren. And, 20 years ago, after her left children for college, she invested in an old abandoned building on Ellicott  Street.

“I decided at a certain point that I could take a chance," she said. "I had $10,000 and I opened the building with $10,000, did the renovations. I did a lot of the work myself and my family helped me paint and  do things and got it open."

Since planting her seed money, in somewhat dormant downtown flower district many years ago, Maureen expanded her business and purchased a building next door.

At 70 years, Bartley works 6 days a week. Her loyal team of in house florists like Ashley Kakorski admire her drive.

"I love it so much," said Kakorski.  "It’s what I love to do and Maureen is a great inspiration and has taught me so much through the years."

Like more and more Americans over 65, Bartley enjoys working. Her quality she says is enhanced by exercise, eating healthy, reading... theater and remaining active.

"I don’t have an exit plan and I work just as much as I ever did, and I don’t feel any aches or pains or anything anymore. I have been very blessed."