BY MARTHA SMITH
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Wickford Flowers, formerly a venerable town fixture owned by the Greene family, is undergoing a transformation.
According to owner Tim Schartner, the operation, in business for a half-century, has phased out cut-flowers, transferring that service to Blossom Florist, in East Greenwich, another Schartner enterprise.
While a 20 percent off sale of jewelry, cards and high-end decorative items is under way at the West Main Street shop, Schartner is seeking partners to launch a combination coffee shop, bakery, garden cafe and – at night – a martini bar.
The evening bar would feature banquettes placed around a stone fireplace in the back courtyard.
“Plans are tentative at this time,” he says, noting that permits need to be obtained and details worked out. “We want to combine what we had [with new elements],” he explains. “We would put seats in here, offer cappuccino and pastry and all the things around the customers would be for sale.”
He compared the concept to CAV, the popular Providence bistro in the Jewelry District.
Schartner notes he will still offer potted gardens, planters and hangers but bedding plants will only be available at the family farm on Route 2. If everything is approved, he hopes to be up and running in a couple of months.
Martha Smith is an award-winning journalist and author. Retired, she is an independent contractor for Southern Rhode Island Newspapers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .