NEW BRITAIN - A Middletown man who made the flower arrangements and bouquets for a 200-person wedding from his garage at age 17, recently took over JE Flower Shop, which will soon be called New Britain Flower Shop.
Nick Erlacher is the new owner of JE Flower Shop at 141 Broad St. He purchased the business from Evona Koziel, who owned it for 12 years.
Erlacher said he has always enjoyed being around flowers. From a young age, he created flower arrangements from home.
Erlacher 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 25-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, 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,” Erlacher 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.”
Erlacher is looking to spend around $5,000 in renovations inside and in the front of the business by mid-spring.
“I have plans to build and dress up the outside to transform it into a whole European garden look,” Erlacher said. “I just want to make it look really pretty and make a place where somebody wants to come in.”
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,” Erlacher 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.”
The soon-to-be called New Britain Flower Shop now has more merchandise including gift baskets, memory lanterns, candles and other items.
“I’ve been blessed with the support of family, friends and the local community,” Erlacher said.
JE Flower Shop is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday by appointment for event consultation.
To learn more about JE Flower Shop, call or visit .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or .