Marketa Greer, manager of design at Nanz and Kraft Florists, joins Lenihan Sotheby's International Realty's podcast to discuss what has made her company a local Louisville tradition for over 150 years. The small business opened as a florist and greenhouse in St. Matthews in 1850, and was purchased by Henry Kraft in 1895. Today, the company is still run by the Kraft family, now under sixth-generation ownership.
The building has undergone some changes after a fire in 1976. The current 20,000-square-foot structure features a greenhouse, three flower coolers, a design center with 25 staff members, and a storefront. In addition to loose or arranged flowers, customers will find a fully-stocked gift center featuring chocolates, candles, furniture and other local products from Indiana and Kentucky’s best artisans.
The business is booming – locally and nationally. Nanz and Kraft delivers flowers at 9 am, noon and 3 pm every day with 15-20 trucks coming in from Florida, California, and Canada. Most fresh flowers should last about a week and they do have customers who buy new bouquets every seven days, but some businesses clients buy fresh floral arrangements daily. The demand for flowers is great because, as Greer puts it: “Flowers are always the good way to apologize.” Beyond that, plants like bamboo, ficus trees, dracaenas and peace lilies are good for your health and clean the air.
In addition to their commercial business, Nanz and Kraft supports a number of local charities. They help Norton Hospital with their annual Snow Ball and Colors of Courage fundraisers. Every online purchase allows customers to choose a charitable organization to receive a portion of their proceeds.
The pre-holiday open house the first Friday of November to benefit the Louisville Ballet is one of Nanz and Kraft’s biggest events of the year. Last year, they raised about $1,400 selling nutcracker ornaments. Shoppers were also treated to free photos with Nutcracker characters roaming the store. During the event, madrigal singers from Sacred Heart go caroling around the neighborhood businesses to add to the holiday spirit.