NORTH TONAWANDA — Jacob and Jennifer Wankasky weren't looking to open a second location, but when they saw that the old Hock's Flower Shop was on the market, they knew it was a deal they just couldn't pass on.
The owners of the Old Chapel Antique and Artisan Market have been busy with their successful Robinson Street business but they took notice when they saw a "for sale" sign outside the old flower shop. Both of them had fond memories of the shop from their childhoods, and with its quaint and whimsical exterior, they decided it would be the perfect addition to their growing business.
"It was an opportunity that we didn't want to pass up," Jacob said. "We instantly knew that we wanted it, we just love the architecture of the building and the fact that it has history being an old greenhouse. We've been at it at the Old Chapel for two years now and we felt we had enough success that people would support another store."
Located just minutes down the street from the Old Chapel, on the corner of East Robinson and Zimmerman streets, The Old Greenhouse Antiques and Decor marked its opening on Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Wankaskys were joined by local officials and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas to celebrate their new venture.
While the Old Chapel has an array of antiques and goods from local artisans, The Old Greenhouse specifically focuses on antiques and home decor. Some of the local artisans and vendors who previously sold items at the Old Chapel have made the move to the Old Greenhouse as well.
In homage to the shop's history, the Wankaskys will also offer fresh floral arrangements and other seasonal plants, such as pumpkins for the upcoming fall season.
Jacob said they started the closing process on the building about six months ago, and have been doing renovations and preparing for their opening ever since.
Aside from their fond memories of the shop and its attractive design, the fact that the property came with an attached house was also appealing. There, the Wankaskys plan to build their family, which they announced will gain a new member in January.
"It's our first purchase and our first home that we purchased," Jacob said. "We're just really happy to be able to invest in North Tonawanda and continue to grow."
The Old Greenhouse will officially open to the public starting Saturday and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 700 East Robinson St. For more information, find them on Facebook by searching "The Old Greenhouse Antiques & Decor."