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Woman’s dream comes true with Glendale floral shop

Glendale Flowers and Gifts

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The long and treasured history of the Glendale Flower Shop dates back nearly 80 years. The Pitts family opened the shop in 1939, the first floral shop in Glendale. Through the years, the shop had multiple locations throughout the historic downtown.

In 1971, Carlton Pitts took over the family business with the same enthusiasm his father had.

Sue Mensi always dreamed of owning her own floral shop, and in 2015, her dream came true when she became the owner of Glendale Flowers. Mensi met the Pitts family and considers Carlton Pitts a mentor and beloved friend, she said. He died in 2017, but his legacy and love of flowers continues today through the efforts of Mensi.

Mensi was born in Phoenix and moved to Glendale 10 years ago. Mensi said she has always loved flowers, their beautiful scents and the calming effect they give people. Mensi’s oldest sister was instrumental in planting the seeds for Mensi’s life-long work. Mensi began learning the essentials of the floral business, starting with scrubbing water buckets and processing floral stems.

Over time, she began to learn the intricacies and art of design. For many years, Mensi managed flower shops throughout the Valley, cultivating her skills and learning the ins and outs of the business.

Mensi said she has always loved Historic Downtown Glendale. Her heart filled when she first spotted the Glendale Flower shop tucked inside the heart of the Catlin Court District. She began to work at the shop as a designer, and when the opportunity to purchase the business came in June 2015, she knew her longtime dream was fulfilled. Mensi’s vision has transformed the floral shop to now include a wide array of garden-themed gift items and on-going floral arranging classes.

Mensi takes great pride in designing arrangements for occasions of all sizes, she said. No event is too big or too small. Mensi visits local wholesalers on a daily basis to find the perfect stems for her one-of-a-kind arrangements.

The family tradition of the shop continues today. Mensi has five daughters. Her oldest daughter, Danea Mensi, is following in her mother’s footsteps. She said she has been in flower shops since the day she was born. Danea is quickly learning the artistry of design, and just like her mother all those years ago, she is learning from the ground up, spending endless hours cleaning buckets and prepping stems.

Mensi is passionate about her shop and the Catlin Court area. She is thankful for her business neighbors who, she said, have warmly welcomed her. She said they all work together to retain the charm and authenticity of Glendale’s treasured and oldest retail neighborhood. Mensi participates in many of the downtown special events, and every year is the chairperson for the annual Christmas in July promotion. This year’s event will be held July 14 and Glendale Flowers and Gifts will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

Mensi has a big event coming up. She was recently engaged and is busy planning her wedding. Many of her floral friends are clamoring to design the bouquet for her special day.

I encourage you to stop by and meet Mensi and take time to smell the roses in Glendale’s original flower shop.

Glendale Flowers and Gifts is at 7145 N. 58th Drive, in Historic Downtown Glendale’s Catlin Court District. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 623-931-2416, visit www.glendaleflowers.net or email glendaleflowers@gmail.com.