NC florist still thrives after 70 years


KINSTON, NC (WNCT) – A woman from Kinston has been making people smile with her flower shop business for over 70 years. She has no plans to stop any time soon.

Jewel Ryder started her business in 1951, taking over her mother-in-law’s sister, who could no longer run a flower shop on her own. She tells 9OYS that she worked in an office and at the time couldn’t afford childcare, so it seemed like the perfect solution.

At first she worked from the bedroom in her mother-in-law’s house.

“When I outgrew it, my father-in-law was the head of the Coca-Cola plant, and so they built something and had a tool house,” Ryder said. “So when they went through the building, I got a house for tools and then moved it to the backyard.”

She later built in the back of her own home before finally landing on a permanent business location at 704 Westover Avenue in 1976.

If you ask Ryder what her favorite flower is, she will tell you, “I love them all, I can’t say I like one more than the other.”

It is this joy and energy that causes many to tremble.

“I’m 96,” she will say with a wide smile on her face. “When you work with flowers, I mean, like I said, it’s about as close to God as you can be if you behave decently,” she said with a laugh.

And it’s a family event where Ryder’s daughter and grandson work next to her every day.

“I’ve been doing this probably since birth,” says Evelyn Ryder-Mosinga. My mom was the backbone of this business and I’m trying to keep it, all of us. ”

Also, if you’ve been in business for over 70 years, you’ll really get to know your customers.

I have a lot of people calling and they say, “I want to send something to Mr. and Mrs. so and so” and “You know what they like,” and if they’re my client, I can tell them that they like what you don’t like. ”

After 70 years, she is still at Rider Florist almost every day, doing what she enjoys most.

“You see how happy people are, and you see them very sad, so you just talk to them, cry with them,” Ryder said.

Even on days when it seems hard and you just don’t want to get out of bed.

“I just always jump out and go,” she said. “You know a lot of times you don’t want that, and you think, ‘Well, I’d like to stay here, but you know, you just get up and go.’

NC florist still thrives after 70 years

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