DARIEN, Conn. – A Darien institution is celebrating its 70th birthday next month, and the whole town is invited to its party.
Hilda and Christian Nielsen opened Nielsen’s Florist in 1944, and the business still sits on Post Road to this day. The shop will celebrate its 70th anniversary under the guidance of the couple’s granddaughter, Sandy Nielsen-Baumann, the third generation of the family to run the shop.
Nielsen-Baumann credits the business’s lasting success with its focus on being a part of the community.
“Our long-term philosophy has always been based on our dedication to maintaining successful relationships with our customers and vendors alike,” Nielsen-Baumann said on the company's website.
That’s not to say that the shop is exactly the same as it was 70 years ago. Hilda and Cristian started their business with a one-room flower shop purchased from the Isley family. The family has modernized their shop’s look and added space over the years, and expanded its services along with it.
Michael Joseph’s Catering moved in to the shop in the 1980s, bringing with it a café and an in-house catering service. The caterers come in handy at the shop’s Conservatory, which plays host to parties and other events surrounded by the flower shop’s greenhouse of plants.
In recent years, the shop has also expanded past flowers to offer home décor items, such as hand-blown glassware and silk floral tapestries. The shop also employs a team of designers to help plan gardens and potted plants that work in all seasons.
Those designers are now at work planning Nielsen’s Florist’s 70th anniversary party, “A Celebration of Time.” From April 4 to April 6, its showroom will be decorated with displays of tropical and local flowers put together by the team. The three-day event will feature refreshments, talks with the designers and special offers.
“We are bringing in the most spectacular flowers from all over the world for the community to experience,” Marketing Coordinator Raya Ward said. “We want the people that have kept Nielsen’s in business all these years to be able to appreciate what makes Nielsen’s, well, Nielsen’s.”
“A Celebration of Time” will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 4 to April 6 at Nielsen’s Florist, 1405 Post Road. For more information, visit the shop’s website.