“People sometimes have the wrong idea of a flower shop. It is fun, but it’s not something you get rich on. I get rich on how beautiful it turns out and the gratitude for the customer. We have filled a lot of needs for a lot of different people.” Marge Nagel, owner of Merle’s Flower Shop
Merle’s Flower Shop is named after Marge Nagel’s father, Merle. Merle and his wife started the business in Blair, Nebraska but moved the business to Seward in 1953 when they saw there was a need for a florist in the town. They moved into the current building on 626 Seward Street in 1975.
Nagel grew up helping with the shop. She made her first bride’s bouquet when she was 13 years old, went to floral school in Denver, and continues to seek training to keep up on techniques. When her parents passed and she took over the store in 1983, she built a walk-in cooler and changed the building. As the sole owner of the shop, she had to quickly learn how to run a business. At one point she was wearing multiple hats: mother to three children, business owner, and floral designer. Even as most of her friends have retired, Nagel says she still wants to work: “I love what I do. As long as I enjoy what I do and God has let me survive, I guess I will continue doing what I do.”
Merle’s Flower Shop is extremely inviting. The store has home decorations, indoor plants, and gift options for any occasion. They offer wedding and funeral items. Individuals interested in ordering flowers for an event are encouraged to come and meet with a sales associate at the meeting table in the store or call and order over the phone. The store makes deliveries. On many occasions, the store delivers cakes and gift baskets to Concordia students.
Unlike city grocery stores, Merle’s Flower Shop values creating unique and customizable floral designs upon request. For example, for funerals, if a loved one was a farmer, the store can add a tractor or milo to the casket flower case.
Nagel has done weddings for generations of people. Nagel rarely markets the store because she trusts the word of mouth and the quality product she generates. It’s no surprise why Merle’s Flower Shop has stayed in business for as long as it has. Nagel sees her work as a special responsibility.
“If I can’t meet an order comfortably then I would rather someone else do it because that is a very special time and it needs to be perfect. I have to keep the quality up, or I don’t want my name on it. We did not build our name on mediocrity,” explains Magel.
As Magel comes to the end of her career, she admits being a florist is hard work but loves it all the same. “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.” For more information, on products Merle’s Flower Shop offers, check out their website or give the store a call!
Phone Number: (402) 643-6618
Location: 626 Seward Street, Seward, NE 68434