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J.A. Long Florists: Still In Bloom

After more than 100 years in business, the family-run East Haven florist's doors are still open — and ready to serve its customers.

If there is one message that you come away with from this article, it is this: is open and ready for business.

The local florist shop along Dodge Avenue was started by John Long in 1895. And since then, it has served countless customers here in East Haven and throughout the greater New Haven area.

Now, Long's grandchildren — the brother and sister team of Richard Coyle and Corinne Lydem — own and operate the shop.

'Never Really Closed'

But in in late 2010, the family business' . A struggling economy and changes in the industry forced the siblings to make some difficult decisions: they closed the nurseries and greenhouse.

And they also almost closed the shop's doors for good. Almost.

"We've never really closed," Lydem said. "We had intended to close but in the end, we never did."

'Still Getting Calls'

Lyden said two years ago, while business remained solid, the expenses of running the greenhouse was just getting to be too much. And so, she and her brother reluctantly decided to close the nursery in the fall of 2010.

But as the two were going through the motions of closing up the shop, for good, they began to have second thoughts.

"We were in here, doing things, but we were still getting calls," Lydem said as she sat at her bookkeeper's desk in the shop's office. "And so we decided that we would be open on limited hours, and we'd see how it went."

And so far it has gone well.

"We're doing all right," Lydem said.

New Hours

Coyle continues to put together flowers and floral arrangements for all occasions.

The shop itself is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"And if you'd like to make an appointment, you can call," Lyden said.

And the business will deliver to locations throughout the greater New Haven area.

'He Likes to Work'

One of Coyle's biggest strengths as a florist, according to his sister, are his wedding arrangements.

"They are very nice," she said. "And you get a very good value here."

One of his other strengths? His strong work ethic.

Lydem said that is one of the main reasons that the doors of J. A. Long are still open and welcoming its returning and new customers.

"He likes to work," she said.

Lise Cavallaro March 06, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Nice story. The Patch needs more positive articles like this.
Michelle Petroccio March 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
JA Long's is the only place I have ever bought a n arrangement for a gift or other service. I have purchased plants for my own yard as well. The service is impeccable, and the work they do is just beautiful. Everyone who walks through thier doors is treated individually with courtesy and respect, and your personal needs and budget are always met. Thanks Richard for always selling me the most beautiful plants and flowers I have ever purchased, and for all of he compliments I get on the gifts I have bought from Long's!
Chet Bialicki August 26, 2013 at 09:17 AM
I recently lost my mother in law and visited J A Long for the flowers that were to be placed in church. I was greeted with such warmth and understanding which made the experience very personal. I discussed the type of flowers that the family wished to purchase and the recommendation was right in line with our thoughts. The flower arrangements were beyond our expectations and very reasonably priced. I initially thought of ordering online through one of the many commercialized sites but am so glad that I visited J A Long instead. Thanks so much for helping us through this difficult time by making this all so easy. I highly recommend J A Long for your flower needs. They are truly professional and accommodating in every way!

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