“50 years ago, I told my wife that I think I can go into business and make a dollar a day,” recalled Gary Garaventa.
And for the past five decades, he’s managed to keep his promise.
For a half-century, his business, Garaventa’s Florist, has been a staple in the Napa community providing its signature stamp on customer care, floral artistry and delivery.
Back when he was just 16, Gary Garaventa was given an ultimatum. His father told him that he could play sports or get a part-time job.
Gary selected option B.
With the help of his father, Gary landed his first job at a local florist shop delivering flowers and learning the trade.
“I stuck with it and thankfully hit it right,” he said. “I entered the business at the right place and right time.”
Gary, and his wife Patty, first opened their doors in 1970 with a modest 1,000 square foot store on Jefferson Street.
Working as a fifth and sixth grade school teacher at Salvador Elementary school, Patty partnered with her husband and provided financial stability as their business grew.
Gary handled the daily operations of their shop on his own, leaving a “Be right back” sign on the door when he left to make deliveries.
For the Garaventa’s, the hard work paid off as their clientele grew, recalled Gary.
After just two years, the local florists relocated to its current location at 851 Lincoln Ave., providing customers with additional space, refrigerated storage and parking lot access, said Gary.
A true family-owned and operated business, for the first 10 years, Gary’s employees consisted of his aunt and cousins.
Upon starting a family, Patty retired from teaching and took over the bookkeeping responsibilities. Together, the young couple had two children, Gina and Peter Garaventa. Today, Gina is next in line to take over the family business.
As their business flourished, soon it became time for Gary to hire additional employees. Hiring the “right” people was essential.
Employees like Cheryl Redfern, who has worked with the Garaventa’s for nearly 40 years, have been instrumental in the growth of the business, said Gary.
These loyal employees are family and provide the same level of care and dedication that Gary and Patty have been committed to, they said.
Even with COVID-19 regulations, Garaventa’s Florist works hard to keep their employees and shoppers safe, said Gary.
Offering curbside pick-up, non-contact deliveries and requiring a mask, the veteran florists have been taking care of the Napa Valley community and will continue to do so, they said.
“I feel that our number one asset is taking care of our customers,” said Garaventa. “We have been dedicated to our beliefs and stayed the course. We have had loyal employees and loyal customers.”
WATCH NOW: THE BEST PLANTS THAT ADD COLOR TO YOUR WINTER GARDEN
PHOTOS: SPREADING FLOWER POWER AT GARAVENTA’S FLORIST
Catch up on Napa County's top news stories of 2020
In case you missed it, here is a look at the top stories of 2020.
It's been a turbulent year for the wine industry, which between intermittent wildfires, smoke events and pandemic lockdowns has attempted to remain open for business.
The Hennessey and Glass fires made 2020 a year to remember for all the wrong reasons.
It was the year when schools and universities went dark — and their denizens were left to teach and learn, online and indefinitely separated from their friends and peers.
COVID-19 has catapulted county government into the spotlight.
You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or email@example.com