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Flowers by Dick Burton closing its doors for the last time Monday

One of Batavia's venerable businesses, Flowers by Dick Burton, is closing its doors the final time Monday evening.

The roots of the business are in Oakfield, growing out of greenhouses owned by Irving Bates and Benjamin Harrison, who opened a flower shop in Batavia sometime in the 1940s.

Eventually, Dick and Mary Burton bought the shop and after operating on Main Street for some time, moved it to Cedar Street.

John and Shelia Hamel purchased the business -- and kept the name -- 34 years ago.

Even though the Hamels have built up a customer database of 21,000 people (including customers in seven other nations), it's become too difficult to compete against Internet businesses, Hamel said.

"Yes, we have local competition, but our main competition is the Internet," John said. "These 1-800, Procom, Just Flowers, all these things -- I just urge our customers and anybody, do not use them because you get taken. You don't get the quality they expect here or any flower shop."

Hamel said customers have compared his prices to Internet prices and complained, but people don't realize the quality just isn't the same. The flowers aren't prepared properly and can even arrived dried out, and shipping costs often exceed the cost of the flowers.

Hamel said he isn't sure what's next for him and his wife. Shelia can still work in the flower industry if she wants. She's a certified master designer who got a near perfect score when she tested for the certification. She was Florist of the Year in 2002, named by the now defunct Floral Association of Greater Rochester.

Flowers by Dick Burton was Genesee County's Retail Business of the Year in 1994. The business as also won numerous awards from FTD and other trade organizations.

Hamel said there are so many people to thank for all the years of support of the business that he can't possibly name them all -- all of the customers, most of all.

He in recent years it's been a treat to do the flowers for brides whose mothers first came to them for their weddings in the 1980s and 1990s.

He said he especially wanted to thank the shop's longtime employees, Barb Spring, Charlie Augrom, Linda Luthart, Sally Case and Lori Mosier.

Through Monday, everything in the shop is half off. On July 9 and 10, the shop will be open for other florists to come in and buy fixtures and cases. The property will be auctioned off July 17.

"We really don't know what we're going to do after that," Hamel said. "We're letting our faith take us at that point."

Bob Harker
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On the occasions that I've sent flowers or picked them up, the Hamel's product, attention to detail, and service has been nothing short of stellar.

This is yet another example of people trying to save a buck by taking their business online or to the big boxes. The risks of doing so are numerous. Service after the sale is almost non-existent, return shipping charges if it's not exactly what you thought it was, finding parts down the road, and the loss of the personal touch are huge.

Buy local. Stimulate the economy and feel good about your purchase.

Justin Burger
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My parents always bought their flowers at Dick Burton's, and that spilled over to me as well. Their service has always been great, they've always gone above and beyond! I don't even understand why anyone would buy online, Dick Burton's prices are great, And the flowers have always been fresh (We've had their flowers live literally well over a month). It's a shame they have to close. Batavia is losing one of it's best.

Roberta White
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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I love Flowers by Dick Burton!!! Every time I have ever gotten flowers from there they have been excellent quality and lasted significantly longer than flowers from anywhere else. This is a shame. I have never even found a store in town that has flowers that aren't rotten or dried out. Where are people buying their flowers? Online flowers? Are people serious? "Here sweetie, I have some flowers, sorry they look like they were plucked out of the ground by a child and sent through a wood chipper, but they were flowers once." No way! Flowers by Dick Burton can't be beat. Their prices are amazing even!!! Who would shop anywhere else? People must be a lot dumber than I thought.

Roberta White
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I have never had to pluck dead "parts" out of a bouquet from Dick Burton's. Try saying that about any other place in town or online. When you buy anywhere else.... only about half the bouquet makes it to the vase.

Jay Terkel
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It is sad to hear that they are closing. John and Shelia deserve a long and happy retirement. They have been great friends to the local wedding industry.
It is sad that our society is changing to ordering on line and putting price and convenience over quality.
I started my wedding photography business about the same time that they started their floral business. I always recommended their services to my wedding customers, because I knew that they would get excellent quality and great service. I also have recommended other local florists as well.
I have personally ordered and received flowers from them many times, and they were always perfect. Lately, about the only time I order flowers, is for my out of town daughter.
I always call a florist near her, and order from them directly.
I wish them the best in what ever their future holds.
Jay

Roberta White
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Can't knock it if it's true. Besides.... are you going to tell me my opinions are false? I don't think it is wise to create an online news community in which people are allowed to express their ideas and then tell them call them a liar. "especially when the criticism isn't true." Why thank you for completely overlooking the fact that different people have different opinions. I say the quality of all shops in Batavia are nowhere near decent... EXCEPT the flower shop that I have always ended up at. This is because of their excellent service and wonderful product. Flowers by Dick Burton. You are also very close minded Howard, to think that I am knocking local business'. I am knocking ALL of the stores and shops that sell what they call flowers. Now... am I allowed to say that I like Dick Burton's because..... or are you going to say that I am wrong. You know, because what you say is fact on your site I guess. 90 percent of what I said was positive too. You really got right to the nitty gritty and lashed out at a detail didn't you?

Roberta White
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I was perfectly fine with your opinion until you DECLARED IT FACT that mine was false. To knock other minds and their ideas is counter productive and serves no useful benefit to society, especially when the criticism isn't true. I couldn't even type that without laughing. Hahaha... like I could tell you that your opinion is or isn't true. I know better than that.

Roberta White
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I say what I want and have every right to. You can say all you want... haha. I believe there is a term for it. Politics? Maybe. Doesn't make any of it fact. Kapeesh? Some people might be scared to speak their minds. This 25 year old girl isn't. You can block or delete me sure. But I still say what I want huh. Enlightening. If you can't handle my truth then you don't have to be my friend. It's ok. I play nice, not wrong.

Roberta White
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Look at all this backlash... yikes. Maybe the original statement I made wasn't really so bad. I guess you CAN call me a liar because you have the right to.... but well I can say it right back. Tsk Tsk. The first part of what you said actually did make sense. It was that last part... about what I said being false that I just really didn't like. Hm... well. Thanks for taking the time to read my comment and think "Oh her opinion isn't true and I am personally going to point it out because I think I am the one who is right. She must not KNOW how it works on my webpage."

Roberta White
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Now... I would like to re-congratulate Flowers by Dick Burton for being so great! This girl is going to miss getting flowers from your shop!!! I can't even believe that so many great local business' are closing down. Present Tense and now this!! There have been so many great places. What a shame! I wish we all could have supported you MORE!

Joshua Pacino
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Well that escalated quickly.

John Roach
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The closing is too bad. I have bought there and never had any reason to complain. There still are other shops in the City that, despite Roberta's opinion, are very good.

Kyle Couchman
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I second John on that as well. I have seen a few shops in town that take as much pride and care in their work as Flowers by Dick did. Nowhere did Howard say she was a liar or that his was a fact.

Roberta fails to realize that opinions are niether fact or fiction they are just one person's viewpoint. Howard offered an example of another florist that has excellent quality. Therefore negating Roberta's generalism that Dicks was the only decentI mean it's very plain that Roberta's statement of opinion... " I have never even found a store in town that has flowers that aren't rotten or dried out." Howard and John as well as myself and I'm sure many of you know of other shops just as excellent. (Not to besmirch the reputation of "Flowers by Dick" )

The overreaction and consequent interpretations of Howard's statements I thik everyone can begin to form a fairly good opinion of Roberta's issues with this forum. I think her intent is to force the rest of us to "adjust" to accomodate her viewpoints. It's beginning to pattern itself that way, but again thats just my opinion.

Billie Owens
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When I order flowers for my mother in San Diego or Howard's grandmother in El Cajon, I always order from the same shops in their respective cities. That way I am assured of consistent quality and great customer service. I once received flowers from 1-800-Flowers sent by a relative and the roses were withered and rather sad looking. That told me the national Internet florists were not the way to go. Local is better. Too bad about the Burtons' business. It will be greatly missed. Roberta, you sure gotta lotta wind in your sails, I'll say that much.

Roberta White
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It is really too bad that they are closing.

Phil Ricci
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Nice people over there. I really do hope that they land on their feet and enjoy their lives the way they always hoped to!

As far as opinions go, I have done business with many other shops in town for a variety of reasons, and have had great experiences. Keep it local!

barb king
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Lotta wind .LOL

Frank Bartholomew
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So there is no way Roberta could have gotten bad flowers in this city?
Roberta, you can adjust your sails, just don't try adjusting the wind.

Sally Waldron
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My husband got me flowers from Dick Burtons once and they were beautiful! We didn't go there often because our friends own Lakestreet Florists in LeRoy, and have gone there for over 25 years. That being said, Dicks was always our second choice because of their quality, and we would refer people there that wanted flowers in Batavia. Very sad to see them closing.

Michael Piazza
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Frank, I was wondering(this is in reply to your #20 comment)if you ever heard of the idiom of "let sleeping dogs lie"?

Ed Hartgrove
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"Hey, Mike"!

Michael Piazza
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Hi Ed, we should exchange e-mails sometime....would love to catch up on some things happening here & in Fla. Hope you are well my friend, and wish you a upcoming 4th of July to you (and the readers of the Batavian also).

Ed Hartgrove
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Um-m-m, er-r-r ...Yeah, ol' buddy. That probably ain't gonna happen, and here's why:
1) I'm not one to do MUCH emailing. As I've told the three or four people that DO have my email address, don't expect a timely response because I only check my emails about once every 6-weeks or so. And,
2) There's no way I'd put it out there for 15, 000-plus people to read - I'm old, but I ain't senile -YET!!
Especially since they've started selling small, (personal) helio-drones. I don't need some (or MANY) "nut-jobs" dropping paper bags of doggie doo on my car (or worse).
Just know I think of my friends ocassionally - Thanks for the thought, though.
Have a great year, my friend!

Frank Bartholomew
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Mike, I've heard that many times, don't beleive in it though, a sleeping dog is no fun.

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