Guignard's Florist celebrates 9 years

Easter lilies and hyacinths of an array of vibrant colors have been selling themselves this month.

Providing the popular arrangements to several communities, Mark and Michele Donardo, the owners of Guignard Florist recently celebrated nine years of business.

The Donardos live off Morgan Road in the town of Clay.

Most recently the couple has called their 6420 Rte. 31, Cicero address the home of their shop for more than three years. Before, the shop was located in North Syracuse for more than 50 years under different ownership.

The name of the shop has been around for more than 60 years, and the couple has never wanted to change it because everyone in the surrounding communities knows the name.

"We never had a desire to change the name," Michele said. "There's no need to name the shop 'Donardo Florist.'"

The couple bought the business after their lease was not renewed. Both with similar educational backgrounds, the couple decided that the chance to own their own floral business was perfect.

"It was a great business opportunity," said Mark, who studied horticulture at SUNY Cobleskill, while Michele studied floral design there as well.

The couple met at SUNY Cobleskill and moved back to Upstate New York after graduating. Although Michele grew up in Long Island, N.Y., a job at the original shop brought her to the area. Mark grew up in Liverpool and said it worked out well to move back after college.

They laughed about the many times when clients ask if their parents own the shop.

"People sometimes don't believe we own it," Michele said. "They think we're some young kids and are surprised to hear we own it."

The couple's shared interests made the floral business a good fit, although Mark has more background and interest in landscaping and forestry.

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