HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - Half Moon Bay’s gloomy chill Thursday reflected the backdrop for the final house of Bay City Flowers.
Starting in 1910, the family-owned business grew products for Bay Area florists and companies.
Now most of the greenhouses on its sprawling property off Highway 1 are partially or completely bare.
On Friday, the floral company becomes the latest long-standing business to call it quits.
“We know the cut flower industry and ag in general has been struggling in California, and specifically the Bay Area for many, many years,” said Matthew Chidester, the Half Moon Bay deputy city manager.
Officials with the flower company declined to talk to Fox 2. But roughly 200 of their employees will stop getting a paycheck Friday. There’s also a negative impact to all the customers they serve in the area.
“When they are no longer in businesses, we will no longer have hydrangeas most likely. And that’s two-to-three benches at all times there,” said Brad Kuhlman, a manager at Half Moon Bay Nursery.
He says Bay City Flowers-supplied hydrangeas are a big seller year-round. His shop now braces for a financial hit.
“They (hydrangeas) don’t exist, that we can tell. And if they do, we’re having a hard time finding them,” said Kuhlman.
While the nursery considers switching arrangements, city leaders say they’ll try to nurse affected Bay City Flowers employees through this uncertain time.
“The city has really stepped in working with the county, non-profits, and actually a lot of the businesses here in the area, to try and find ways to keep these families living here, working here, and remaining as a part of our community,” said Chidester.
This, as changing economic times force this community mainstay to say goodbye.