Paul LaCorcia, the owner of Lomas Flowers in Saugus, packs the yet-to-be-sold items on the shop’s last day of business after 40 years. (Spenser Hasak)
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SAUGUS – Lomas Flowers Shop in Cliftondale Square opened for the last time on Friday before closing permanently after 40 years in business.
Owners Paul and Marsha LaCorcia said they’ve been grappling with a tough decision over the past six months.
“For 40 years, customers have been so good to us. We have clients who have given us gift certificates and retirement cards,” said Paul LaCorcia.
“We didn’t plan for this. Our lease went up about $300 more than what we’re paying now and we decided we couldn’t afford it,” Marsha said.
The LaCorcias plan to keep inventory they can use and hope to use eBay for any additional items they want to sell. They will keep most of their products in stock.
Walking around the store to shuffle the items in the boxes, Paul added: “The place isn’t what it used to be. When COVID hit, small businesses really took a hit. A few other stores just up the street and a bank opposite us had closed. I’m 73, soon to be 74. I don’t have time to wait for the city to renovate. If I was younger, that’s for sure. Running a business is a full-time job, seven days a week.”
The LaCorcias have two children and grandchildren, but they want them to have their own interests and not feel pressured to take over the business.
“Our children don’t want to work seven days a week, which I understand. It’s not for everyone,” Paul said.
In March 1982, the LaCorcias bought the business from the previous owner. Paul came into the business with background experience as a florist. Longtime customers have been coming in throughout the past week to say goodbye. “At least 45 people came in here crying,” Marsha said.
This florist provided flower arrangements for many weddings and funerals, but one of its most popular products was Beanie Babies.
“We had over 1,000 people at least lined up outside the door all day long,” Marsha said.
It was Marsha’s idea to start adding collectibles to the store. The latest of what’s on the shelves are the Carolers Buyer’s Choice. “At one time we had the largest collection in the northeast,” Marsha said. “At one point we had 1,500 Carolers in the store.”
Paul and Marsha moved around the store to tend to passing customers, and they had their collectibles on sale for half price on the last day. All flowers have been removed at this stage. While Cliftondale Square will never be the same, the couple cherish the memories they have.
“We thank all of our customers for their loyalty and support. We leave many good memories. We have made many good friends over the years. said Paul.
Magella Cantara can be contacted at [email protected]