TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A local family business that's been around for nearly 100 years is changing ownership for the first time.
The location and name of the business won't change, but you will see new faces behind the counter.
Jim Sitarski's grandfather, Mac Randoff opened the Poplar Flower Shop in 1920.
And now, the man whose family has created flowers for 97-years is standing behind the counter for the last time.
"This will be the first Valentine's Day since 1973 that I haven't been here," Jim said. "My wife told me when I got ready to retire...I'd known when. And it was about the 16th of May...I didn't want to get up."
At the start of the year, Jim sold the shop to Greg and Molly Barrett, another local family with deep roots to Terre Haute.
"It's interesting because I don't know if I had ever met Jim until the first time we came in here, obviously. With the ties to both my parents and in-laws, there was already some sort of connection," new owner Molly Barrett said.
So, what was the connection?
"Greg's dad was our football coach at Schulte, Jay Barrett. Them Molly's dad, Steve Butwin and I graduated together...and Sue, he mom, was a year behind us. We all went to Schulte High School together," Jim said.
Even though Jim is no longer behind the counter, the unforgettable pink neon lights and that charming bell will continue to ring...just with another family.
Molly says she's keeping all of Jim's employees since she knows they are the heart of the business.
She also said Jim's tradition of customer service is key but also plans on adding more wedding and event services in the future.
Check out the Poplar Flower Shop on Facebook right here.
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