When Angie Physick moved to England following a Central Michigan University study abroad trip more than 20 years ago, she never expected to wind up back in Mount Pleasant.
Physick and her husband, Neil, are the owners of Four Seasons Floral and Greenhouse, which have locations at 1281 S. Mission St. in Mount Pleasant and 325 E. Wright Ave. in Shepherd. As new owners, the duo has several ideas for the store, but promise customers one thing will remain the same: Quality.
“Mark, the previous owner, had this place for 33 years,”Angie said. “It’s been established in the area for a long time, and we have a great customer base who are comfortable with the way things run. We’ve got loads of ideas, but we don’t want to change anything too much.”
With the shop located so close to campus, Angie said about 40-50 percent of their customers are CMU-based, and that’s a large driving force of the business.
“We’re the closest florist to campus,” she said. “We had considered other locations, but it always comes back to our proximity to CMU that we want to stay here. We don’t want to lose that. We want to be on campus’s doorstep – we don’t want to throw that away.”
Longtime employee Vicki Begres said the student customer base is huge and part of what makes her job so much fun.
“Students and faculty from CMU come in all the time,” she said. “Sometimes you see students come in with no idea what to get, but the best part is they ask for advice and we’re always able to produce something that looks really nice for them. It’s just what we do.”
A 1995 CMU alum and Mount Pleasant native, Angie studied political science and journalism, but found her true calling when she moved to England. After completing a semester abroad, she fell in love with England and decided to stay.
Growing tired of her office job, she quit and enrolled in a horticulture program at the University of West Anglia, where she finished a three-year program in two years.
In 2010, she completed an internship at Hampton Court Castle and Gardens – a castle and parkland known for incredible horticultural displays in the London borough of Richmond – where she met her husband.
“Neil’s been in the gardening industry since he was 16,” Angie said. “He taught me a lot during my time at Hampton Court Palace.”
Angie said her time spent at the palace made her realize she needed to find a lifelong career that combined her love of plants and people.
“Hampton Court Palace is all about the visitors. We’re trained to talk to people when we’re gardening, and we had to be able to interact,” she said. “I still wanted to do that. I didn’t want to be in a corner gardening for somebody. (Owning this business), you get the best of both worlds – you’re around products you love and you get to be around people.”
While Angie is more comfortable handling customer relations and working in the store, nine times out of 10, Neil can be found at the greenhouse location in Shepherd.
“I’m spending a lot of time in the shop, he’s spending a lot of time in Shepherd with his true friends – the plants,” Angie said. “We’re still kind of finding a routine, but Neil isn’t as comfortable in the flower shop setting. I love it.”
Through the trials that come with being new business owners, Angie said one thing keeps her motivated day after day.
“It’s what we love. It’s what I love to be around, and it draws you into a place when you enjoy what you sell,” she said. “Our passion drives us.”