Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Stephen Zedros, grandchild of the founders of Brattle Square Florists, takes ownership Tuesday. (Photo: Brattle Square Florist)

Not only will Brattle Square Florist remain open after a December scare, it will return to the founding family who ran the business for nearly 100 years.

Randy Ricker said Dec. 27 that the pandemic, economic conditions and physical drain of running the 31 Brattle St. store forced him to close Jan. 31 after nine years as owner. There was an outpouring of sadness and support from customers and the community – so much so that Stephen Zedros – longtime manager at the shop and grandchild of the founders – put plans in place to take over the business and maintain operations without interruption starting Feb. 1. 

“I’ve had customers reflect on how their parents and grandparents bought flowers at the store, and they wished their children would be able to do the same. Those traditions, as well as my own family’s traditions, will now live on,” Zedros said. “Brattle Square Florist has been operating in Harvard Square for over 100 years and I’m planning to lay the foundation for the next 100 years.”

In March, however, the store will relocate to 52 Brattle St., just steps away.

The Brattle Square Florist storefront in Harvard Square. (Photo: Brattle Square Florist)

The store was founded by George, Stavros and John Gomatos in 1917 as Gomatos Brothers Fresh Produce, according to the store website. Flowers were always on sale at the store, turning into a thriving business that in 1973 took the lead as the shop was renamed Brattle Square Florist.

The Gomatos brothers are the grandparents of Zedros, who helped his mother and uncle at the shop, and fell in love with the business. “Connecting with the customers and helping them through life’s biggest milestones makes the store so special,” Zedros said.

“Returning Brattle Square Florist to my family is a dream come true,” Zedros said. “The energy of the Square keeps me going and being able to watch as my clients grow up with families of their own is one of my favorite aspects of running this shop. I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support and I look forward to making many more memories in the years to come.”

Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, called the news a “small miracle” that was “exactly what we hoped for.”

“Brattle Square Florist is such an iconic business in the Square. We are so pleased and know the community is as well. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Steve and his staff and wish him great success in his new location at 52 Brattle St.,” Jillson said.