NEW BRITAIN – Nick Erlacher, owner of the New Britain Flower Shop at 141 Broad St., is excited about a new venture.
Recently he and three childhood friends, one of whom has become famous on the video-sharing social network TikTok, have been cast in a reality TV show due out next year.
Erlacher can’t say too much about it just yet other than it will center around his friend, TikTok celebrity Alanna Rondinone of Middletown, with Ashley Golebiewski, of Berlin, who is a former Miss Connecticut USA 2015, and Middletown resident Samantha Salasia also in the cast, and the New Britain Flower Shop will be featured.
Meanwhile, the flower shop has been blossoming in the year and a half since he took it over.
Erlacher said he has always enjoyed being around flowers. From a young age, he created flower arrangements from home. At age 17 the Middletown resident made the flower arrangements and bouquets for a 200-person wedding from his garage.
In 2019 he bought the former JE Flower Shop from Evona Koziel, who had owned it for 12 years.
Erlacher had previously held a job at Wild Wisteria in Durham, a role that helped him develop more creativity and uniqueness when making flower arrangements, he said.
The 26-year-old is a third generation Polish American. Last summer, Erlacher was in Poznan, Poland and he went into a small flower shop, where he told himself he wanted to have his own one day.
“What a better place to own it than in Little Poland in Connecticut?” Erlacher said.
He then started working at JE Flower Shop, just as the former owner started to think of selling the business.
“After a while of working here we became close to each other and she could see my passion that I always loved being here, working with the people. I loved being in Little Poland and loved the flowers,” Erlacher said.
Erlacher, who won Mr. Polonia Connecticut 2015, is now the youngest business owner in Little Poland.
“It makes me happy to be able to come to a place that I love so much because I’m proud of my Polish heritage,” he said. “It makes me happy to be able to get really creative and unique and providing a service for somebody’s birthday, anniversary, or a special happy occasion. But it also gives me pride to be able to comfort somebody in need during a funeral and making something that’s really unique and beautiful to honor somebody’s loved one.”
He added more merchandise to the shop, including gift baskets, memory lanterns, candles and other items, and renovated the inside and the front of the business after taking it over, for a more European garden look. “I just want to make it look really pretty and make a place where somebody wants to come in,” he said.
One of Erlacher’s long-term goals is to help improve the community and the look of the place with the purpose of drawing more people to visit the Little Poland area.
“I’m not here to make an average rose bouquet,” he said. “We are here to do something out of the box. We always make sure we have standard flowers, but we always have something that’s creative and unique that no one else would have.”
“I’ve been blessed with the support of family, friends and the local community,” he added.
The New Britain Flower Shop is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., closed Sundays.
For more information, call 860-832-9770 or visit www.newbritainflowershop.com .