Floral Shop. - VisitingNewEngland
Sunnyside Gardens Continues to Blossom as a Locally-Owned Floral
Shop in Hopkinton, Mass.
This long-established, beloved
local flower shop delivers premium floral arrangements and gift baskets
made with love and a dedication to good old-fashioned customer service
Sunnyside Gardens in Hopkinton.
Article, photos by Eric Hurwitz -- created for VisitingNewEngland.com on 11/17/2022. @newenglandinfo
Walking into Sunnyside Gardens in
Hopkinton, Mass. is like finding the prettiest, most vibrant flower in
This landmark, full service local flower shop has been in business since 1954
and continues to instantly
connect with customers when they step through the door. The
wonderful old school familiarity, 21st century-relevant seasonal and
special occasion floral
arrangement and gift basket needs, same day delivery and that special
local customer service touch
helps gives this modest-sized floral shop a truly big heart and soul.
Sunnyside Gardens sits connected to an old farmhouse where former owner
Mary Howard happily lives in semi- retirement. Just a few years ago,
Hopkinton native Carrie Hurley White bought Sunnyside Gardens from Mary
and has kept the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach intact to
successful, locally-owned flower shop.
Carrie Hurley White, proprietor and Mary
Howard, past owner of Sunnyside Gardens.
Sunnyside Gardens has
spanned the generations in the Hopkinton area like a beloved best
friend in times of need -- whether happy or sad.
"Somebody who might have got those prom flowers years ago now comes
back for weddings, special occasions or commemorating a loved one,"
Mary felt this close-knit community connection many times through the
years, as well. As a prime example, she took
care of the floral side of Carrie's prom and wedding back in the day.
"We knew her family so we do go back quite a bit," said Mary, of
Carrie. "I don't have the energy to do the business anymore so I am
glad Carrie is here to handle things. She does a great job."
Vibrant flowers from Sunnyside
Carrie owned Garden Gate Florist in Hopkinton many years ago but
eventually left the business to spend more meaningful time with her
formative years. As the girls grew older and Sunnyside Gardens became
available, Carrie returned to the floral world as the shop's
This all comes to no surprise. Flowers have blossomed
and been firmly rooted in Carrie's DNA from virtually the beginning.
Carrie's grandfather used to work for Montgomery Rose in Hadley, Mass. Her
mom always had flowers in their home. Carrie, to this very day, proudly
grows her gardens at home. At Sunnyside Gardens, she constantly
finds way to go beyond just the norm in the floral business world.
"This isn't just a job for me," said Carrie. "You have to love
what you do. I became proprietor of Sunnyside Gardens, knowing the
opportunities are endless of what directions we can go in."
Carrie, who attended college to earn a criminal justice degree and once
worked as a state employee, always seemed to find a way to be planted
in the floral world.
"It seems like I always was working at floral shops no matter what I was doing," said Carrie. "Plus, I neeeded the money back then."
Carrie's staff plays a major role in making Sunnyside Gardens so
special, as well.
"My staff is fantastic," said Carrie. "They are unbelievably creative,
offer great customer service and think outside the box with 25 years
Carrie added that Mary still works part-time in the shop when she can
and especially loves to create boxwood trees (more on that shortly).
Customers fully feel Carrie and her staff's boundless enthusiasm,
vision and passion
for cultivating Sunnyside Gardens as an essential, woman-owned local business.
"Carrie and her team have been wonderful to work with," said Margaret
Bartolini Cunningham. "I
own a small business and she has provided beautiful and elegant pieces
for the salon. Often I use Sunnyside Gardens for gifting floral
arrangements to family and friends, always getting continued positive
reviews from those receiving. I would certainly recommend Sunnyside for
all your floral and gifting needs."
A Walk Around the Shop
Inside of Sunnyside Gardens.
Gardens checks off all the essential full-service floral shop boxes
including delivering premium floral arrangements and gift baskets to
"help strengthen relationships, give love and support, and celebrates
life's special moments." From birthdays to anniversaries to
commemorating a loved one, and every little "Just Because" moment in
between, Sunnyside Gardens certainly showcases a budding business. Also, it should be noted that flowers and plants are available as gift items.
Roses from Sunnyside Gardens.
Carrie goes way beyond checking off all the boxes, however. For
example, she wakes up
at 3:30 a.m. twice a week to travel 40 miles to the New England
Flower Exchange in
Chelsea, Mass. where she handpicks "beautiful flowers."
Beautiful variety of flowers
seen at Sunnyside Gardens.
"Mums, greenery, fresh flowers from local growers -- you can't get
these delivered," said Carrie. "I have a lot of relations and use them
to help give more options for our customers."
Sunnyside Gardens also knows that flowers alone do not make an
shop. She offers many gift items including soaps, candles,
chocolates, pie candles, giftware and cards.
Variety of gifts from Sunnyside
"We are trying to
past with its charm and character but also looking at the current and
next generation with the soaps, chocolates, pies, candles," said
"We are also
more on social media now as a way to reach out."
Gift area at Sunnyside Gardens.
A standout item: boxwood
trees for the holidays, lovingly created by hand and imagination. It's
like instantly falling in love when first seeing one of these creations.
loves to make boxwood trees so she's always down here during the
holidays," said Carrie.
Seasonal items drive and thrive this special local business. Thanksgiving brings centerpieces,
cornucopias and special arrangements for tables. Christmas features the
aforementioned boxwood trees, poinsettias, Christmas centerpieces,
cactus's, amaryllis, cyclamen and
wreaths. Valentine's Day
offers roses, fresh-cut flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, soaps,
candles and pie candles. Easter hops along with lilies, tulip
bulbs, hyacinths, daffodil plants, cute bunnies, eggs and spring
centerpieces. Mother's Day gifts with fresh-cut flowers, colorful
bouquets, hydrangeas, roses, geraniums and more.
While Sunnyside Gardens prime customer base resides in Hopkinton, they
also service Medway, Framingham, Milford, Holliston, Upton,
Southborough, Ashland, Natick, Franklin, Westborough, Grafton and
Hopedale. They can also wire out nationwide!
Where it all Began
Frank "Bud" and Mary Howard opened Sunnyside Gardens in 1954 when New
of the largest growers of carnations in the country. When carnation
distribution eventually moved to Central and South America, Frank and
transitioned Sunnyside Gardens to becoming more of a general yet
When Frank became ill, Mary took over until retirement in the late
1980s. That's when daughter Mary -- who previous worked in the
Department of Youth Services -- changed careers and took over the shop.
Sunnyside Gardens continued despite other local floral shops
closing, bad economies, rising gas and heating oil prices, inconsistent
New England weather and other small business and societal roadblocks.
"Lots of shops closed but being raised by depression-era parents, I was
able to save some money when things got tough," said Mary.
No doubt, the world has changed a lot since Mary's parents opened shop.
population stood at about 3,000 with many working farms in the area.
Now Hopkinton's population stands at almost 17,000. Residential and
commercial development have taken over the working farms.
Sunnyside Gardens has adjusted to global, national and local changes but
two things have remained constant -- that is, the local
small-business-to-customer relations and the ability to sell floral
(and now gift) items that satisfy the buyer -- and then some.
"We did well and now the store is in good hands with Carrie,"
said Mary, in a modest and humble tone.
Sunflowers from Sunnyside Gardens.
Emerson once stated “Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty
outvalues all the utilities in the world.”
Timeless truth, indeed, and words expressed without, ironically,
flowery language. In a world of growing utilities, the industrial and
commercial nature of our society cannot compare to the simple,
continuous blossoming of flowers. Passionate messengers of Mother
Nature's beauty like Sunnyside
Gardens brighten our worlds through the magic of flowers. Plus, a most
gifted variety of gift items for sale helps enhance the value of the
customer's shopping experience even more.
said, Sunnyside Gardens, ultimately, come across as a local
small business soul mate. Like
that old saying "Make new friends but keep the old," Carrie and crew
embrace the strong community ties that bind going back several
generations while continuing to service new customers, as well, within
an expanded geographic region. It's like a Hallmark movie come to life
with a small town local girl taking over a beloved local business and
finding ways to make it succeed out of love for community, tradition
and the belief in the power of small business.
Seasonal ambiance at Sunnyside Gardens.
From old-fashioned word-of-mouth to
modern, ambitious social media outreach, the future for Sunnyside
Gardens continues to sprout no matter what time of the season.
"For special occasions or 'just because,' we always try to make things
more special and always strive to go the extra mile," said Carrie.
"That's what small business is all about. Mary's parents started it
all, Mary continued it so well and we are carrying on that great
tradition while finding ways to make the business even better."
Sunnyside Gardens is located at 161 Hayden
Rowe St., Hopkinton, MA.
Web Site: https://sunnysidegardens.biz/
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