In Bloom: Schneider's Florist celebrates grand reopening with new owner

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- It’s not often that a 100-year-old business gets to celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony again. Last week, Schneider’s Florist (633 N. Limestone) hosted a grand reopening party, complete with sweet treats, fresh floral offerings and more on Feb. 1. 

Founded in the early 1900s, Schneider’s Florist has been a go-to for local residents when celebrating some of life’s most precious moments. From prom to Valentine’s Day, weddings and anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and even funerals, Schneider’s provides customers with fine floral arrangements, gifts, and delivery. For decades, the floral shop was one of the generational businesses within Springfield. 

Ashley Nienaber is the proud new owner, the fourth, of Schneider’s Florist, but has a long history with the business. The business itself has an even longer history, dating back to 1905 starting as a flower grower selling roses and peonies, and shipping them all over the country. A few years later, they opened a floral shop on High Street and moved a few times since. 

Ashley Nienaber is the proud new owner, the fourth, of Schneider’s Florist.“In 1985, the previous owners Bill and Kathy Ardle purchased the building here on North Limestone and turned this back into a flower shop. This building was built to be a flower shop back in the 1930s,” she says. 

Nienaber started working for Kathy in 2004 right out of high school, helping cut flowers and decorating the storefront. She started working full-time in the floral shop after getting a graphic design degree in college. After moving to Cincinnati, she worked as a wedding coordinator at Benken Garden Center, Florist & Event Venue. 

When the opportunity to take over Schneider’s came up in Springfield, Nienaber was excited to pursue the new business venture. It’s a task she doesn’t take lightly however, given the positive reputation the previous owners have upheld over the years. She is proud to carry on the same level of customer service and care customers have experienced over the years. 

“Bill and Kathy basically gave me their baby, they entrusted me with their third child,” she says, laughing. “They are legends in their own right, and their work ethic and stuff they’ve done over the years, it’s really impressive,” she says. “I want to keep that hard work and the customer service. She always knew who to hire, and had great employees that would work really hard and were always good at customer service. I want to keep that going, along with making some changes for the best.”

Walking through the familiar space, customers will see a few differences including minor updates like paint, carpet, and new displays. The new owner also hopes to add a larger focus on local products. 

“That’s something I want to incorporate,” she says. “We are selling chocolates and other goodies from the peanut shop here in town for Valentine’s Day. One of our employees that grows flowers also makes handmade greeting cards, so she has stocked us up with some hand-painted watercolors.”

On Feb. 1, the floral shop celebrated its grand reopening with brownies and lemonade from Chick-fil-A, and specialty cookies from local bakeries. 

Walking through the familiar space, customers will see a few differences including minor updates like paint, carpet, and new displays.“It was so nice that so many people were able to attend,” Nienaber says. “They came out and showed their support here in the community. That was really nice and such a sight to see and try to take in.”

Although a grand opening typically signals the start of something fresh, Nienaber also hopes to shed a light on the history of the longstanding business with locals and visitors alike. 

“A lot of people didn’t even know we had been around for over 100 years, and I want that to be known,” she says. “The building is interesting with its history, and the company’s history is wonderful.”

Nienaber is hopeful the business can continue its legacy and level of care with customers’ unique and often delicate needs. 

“I want everybody to feel comfortable when they come in and have a good experience,” she says. “We want to take care of everybody the best we can because a lot of the occasions we are dealing with are important – funerals, weddings, anniversaries. They’re all big and important occasions in people’s lives, and we want to make sure we handle it with care.”

A crowd turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Michigan native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over the Midwest. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, nonprofits, and community. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at [email protected]