McCardle’s Is Not Only Ever-Blooming, It’s Booming
McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center, the oldest family business in Greenwich, has been a mainstay for over a century.
By Caitlin Brown
McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center, the oldest family business in Greenwich, has been a mainstay for over a century. For four generations, they have provided Fairchester residents with exceptional, high quality products ranging from cut flowers and amazing floral arrangements to indoor and outdoor plants to garden supplies and gifts.
While all product categories have seen tremendous growth over the years — thanks to the family’s emphasis on learning from experience and improving on the tried and true — the flower business, in particular, has grown “leaps and bounds” in the past few years — cut flowers and floral arrangements specifically. This is evident in the recently renovated interior space (designed in collaboration with Rinfret of Greenwich), giving much more space to showcase blooms.
McArdle’s does everything from a single-cut bloom to events, dinner parties, and anything in between. They pride themselves on customer service and there’s a reason people keep coming back. “Everything is about making our customers happy.”
Customers know they can rely on superior quality at a moment’s notice. If a client comes in, in need of a last-minute floral arrangement for a dinner party, there are a variety of arrangements ready to go. Or if they are looking for something in particular, the McArdle’s team will make sure to have it available, or can easily get it through their extensive network of suppliers.
The flora here is the best of the best and the family goes to great lengths to ensure this. The business uses a broker from Holland, eliminating the middleman, to secure the highest quality. “We go the extra step, using the broker to ensure the blooms are as fresh as can be, as their longevity is important.” Freshness is key. Broker deliveries arrive twice a week and staff makes two trips a day to the flower district in Manhattan. McArdle’s may be the only floral center that guarantees their flowers will last a week. If they don’t, customers may bring their purchase back and the guarantee is honored.
Even the displays are geared toward ease for the McArdle’s client. Islands are “colorblocked,” each showcasing various flora in uniform colors. There is a blue table, a pink table, etc. “It’s visually appealing and more palatable when one walks in the door,” says Michael Derouin, director of floral design, but it’s also about the client …“most people have a color palette in mind”…”everyone knows what works in their dining room.”
Derouin’s eyes light up as he points to a canary yellow calla lily, noting the longer length of the stem and the bold, beautiful color. “We cherry-pick the best of the best products from all over the world for our clientele, because they expect the best.” McCardle’s is all about the best. They are passionate about it, and it shows in their staff. Derouin’s words reflect this, “There is an art to purveying flowers. Anyone can sell flowers, but to truly bring a unique product … that comes with experience. It’s what we are about; it’s what we do.”
McArdle’s recently won the “Best of the Gold Coast” award for garden center. This is not their first; they have won eight to date. The staff love what they do and they want to share this passion. They consider it their responsibility and duty to teach how plants thrive best — how to care for them, what works, and what doesn’t. “We’re all passionate about flora,” says Derouin. “Walking around here, I feel like a kid in a candy store.”
Derouin loves what he does… the whole staff does. This talented bunch — two of whom are finishing their Master’s in garden design at UConn, and Derouin, one of 14 in the country accredited with the equivalent of a Ph.D. in floral design — are testament to why this family business continues to thrive and branch out.