BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Mary Snyder has been creating flowery masterpieces for 47 years in downtown Port Clinton, working seven days a week to keep the iconic Mary’s Blossom Shoppe a staple on Madison Street.
When asked this week just how long she’ll be able to keep that pace while being a community staple and everyone’s friend, she didn’t hesitate.
“Forever,” said Snyder.
“I’ve been doing this so long, and it’s been wonderful to watch Port Clinton start to grow again.”
Everything is so much different as the town gets back on its feet and becomes, well, a nice small town again.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve got the small town flavor again,” said Snyder. “My loyal customers are still my support, my friends, and I know everyone in town.”
If there is a fundraiser in town, you can be assured Snyder will have tickets for the event on her counter. She is a friend to the other small business owners in town, always knows what’s coming up, who’s buying which building and how to squeak through the tough times.
“I have to give back to the community. If we don’t, we lose our purpose in business,” said Snyder.
When one of the flower salesmen who served Mary’s Blossom Shoppe needed a kidney transplant years ago, Snyder was the donor.
Owning a flower and gift shop in Port Clinton isn’t easy. Flowers from around the area, the country and the world are shipped to Snyder’s shop twice each business day.
Local people count on flowers to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and that first power flower, a prom boutonniere or corsage. Life at weddings and death at funerals.
If you’ve forgotten to buy a gift or flowers, there’s seldom a worry that Mary’s Blossom Shoppe will be open. They’re open seven days a week, rescuing many a prom date or husband on his wedding anniversary.
“I’ve been buying more local flowers and gifts to sell in recent years,” she said. “That’s good for the community. Many of our flowers are from far away Holland, South America and Canada, but I prefer Ottawa or Erie counties.”
Snyder revels in the clang and bang downtown these days of the construction equipment and dump trucks, and the dumpsters being loaded as buildings are gutted and renovated.
“It’s a community effort, and unlike for so many years, we’re not seeing patches applied, but real renovations,” said Snyder. “It’s so great that new retail shops downtown being run by young people at popping up, like Katie Reinhard of Lateral Gig clothing, the Yellow House Bakery and The Brick House. People are even moving back downtown because they want to live here.”
Perched in the middle of it all at 125 Madison Street is Mary’s Blossom Shoppe, a few steps from the Meals on Madison live music stage on the main drag a Madison Street in transition.