If you’re near the corner of 600 East and 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City around 3pm on any given day, you’ll probably see a tall Greek woman with a mane of curly black hair herding a flock of chickens to their coop. An 11-year old terrier is always by her side. The terrier is named Artie, and her name is Stefanie. But no, she doesn’t own a chicken farm.
Stefanie Sergakis Wedemeyer owns The Art Floral, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Wedemeyer has been the sole owner since 2004, when her family moved into the residence attached to the storefront. “We live here, we work here, we play here,” says
Wedemeyer. “So the dogs, the cats, the chickens, the staff, the customers, they’re all part of our family.”
The youngest of three and only daughter of Mike and Vasi Sergakis, Stefanie was born into flowers in 1969. By then, The Art Floral had established a strong reputation through the Greek community of Utah, often serving as the only florist for major church and social events. Mike passed away in 1984, with Vasi taking over.
“We’re the definition of a mom and pop shop. My dad started it in ‘51, my mom joined when they got married in ‘56 and then took over when he passed away. She died in 2004, so now I’m the mom!” The role of pop is filled by Stefanie’s husband, Ryan, and their teenaged children Micah and Sofia represent the third generation of the family business.
Just as Salt Lake City has changed over 70 years, so has The Art Floral evolved. But Wedemeyer focuses more on quality than keeping up with the Joneses. “The reputation my parents established and the relationships we’ve built across the valley are why we’re 70 and strong. It’s not because we have the newest computer system or largest fleet of delivery vans. It’s because we’ve stayed true to doing a hard day’s work with a smile on our face.”
Wedemyer glances outside to a white van and adds, “That van has duct tape on one of the mirrors and the radio only makes a beeping noise! If you can’t smile at that, then I don’t know what to say.”
Maybe order some flowers!
The Art Floral
580 E 300 S, Salt Lake City