CELEBRATIONS

Ponca City flower business holds annual grand opening

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Milton Lewis feels like it’s grand opening at Royalty Flowers every May, although the business has been operated by his family for nearly half a century.

The Ponca City company used to supply some of the biggest retail stores in the country with its silk floral arrangements. It now serves a select clientele for one month each year.

Lewis doesn’t consider Royalty Flowers to be a flower shop — not even in May, when it conducts 100 percent of it’s annual business during the four weeks before Memorial Day.

“We’re an outlet, but we sell our displays to everyone for the same prices,” Lewis said. “We have dealers come in, but we just treat them like everyone else.”

At Royalty Flowers, that means full attention will be given to their needs. The Lewis family feels all their customers deserve special consideration.

“They’re buying for the most precious people in their lives,” said Lewis. “We want them to know that we care about their loved ones — that’s important to us.”

He said he wants his customers to keep coming back, and he hopes they will bring others. Lewis doesn’t worry about the volume of sales, as long as everyone leaves satisfied after buying their flowers. The flower outlet — which offers thousands of high-quality artificial displays as well as many varieties of vases and holders — is located at 201 S. First Street.

Although his parents started Royalty Flowers at Arkansas City, Kan., in the early 1970s, the business has become a major institution since moving to Ponca City — thanks, in part, to some memorable advertising campaigns developed by Milton Lewis.

“Our original slogan was ‘We treat all our customers like royalty,” so they named it Royalty Flowers,” Lewis said, adding that the slogan is seldom used today.

“After 46 years, it’s in our hearts so we don’t really need to say it,” he said.

Lewis said his son Clifford will be taking over the business but he intends to remain involved.