Geneseo florist Chuck Oberle, of Maple City Florist and Garden Center was honored by FTD (Florists’ Transworld Delivery) for his 50 years of partnership with the organization.

Geneseo florist Chuck Oberle, of Maple City Florist and Garden Center was honored by FTD (Florists’ Transworld Delivery) for his 50 years of partnership with the organization.

FTD started in 1910 as a way for a group of florists to serve each others out-of-town customers by exchanging orders via telegraph. The organization has grown and expanded but the concept of helping customers send flowers remotely by using florists in the FTD network remains.

In addition to a letter of recognition, Oberle received a plaque to honor his 50 years with the organization.

After earning degrees in floriculture and ornamental horticulture from the University of Illinois, Oberle served two years in the Army before buying the floral business at 802 S. State St., in Geneseo, in 1963.

The business is located in a home which was built in the 1800s.

“At that time, this location was the edge of town,” said Oberle, displaying a photo showing a horse barn near the house.

In 1938, florist Claude Souers decided to construct a greenhouse on the property.

“We’ve updated the greenhouse some, but the same basic frame remains,” said Oberle.

Today, Maple City Florist and Garden Center’s greenhouse features an array of plants, including some of the only banana trees in the area.

Customers browsing at Maple City Florist can also see fish and turtles and the business’ resident cat, Miss Scarlett. In the summer months, there are also doves on site.

Lineing the walls of the historic greenhouse are stained glass windows from the former St. Malachy’s Church building.

In a floral career spanning more than five decades, Oberle said he’s seen a number of changes in the business. “It’s almost unreal how things have changed,” he said. However, one truth has remained the same. “People still like flowers. Their faces light up when you deliver flowers to them.”

Oberle said creative challenges make “each day different.”

“Some days are easy, some days are stressful, but all the while you’re surrounded by the color and beauty of flowers and the knowledge that you’re helping make someone’s day brighter,” he said.

Maple City Florist and Garden Center can be reached at 944-6403. For more information, visit www.maplecityflorist.com.