Archived Story

Johnson family says ‘goodbye’ to longtime Austin floral shop

Published 10:15am Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brad Johnson has fond memories of his family’s nearly 50-year-old Austin floral shop, but he knows it’s time to move on.

His 91-year-old father, John R. Johnson, ran Johnson Floral, but decided it was time to slow down. The business, which opened in 1967, has been for sale since mid-June.

“It’s very much been a family business we’re very proud of, and we’re emotionally attached,” said Brad Johnson, who lives in Chicago but works in Minneapolis and throughout the Midwest. “We’d love to see it run locally.”

That may be the case, as Eden Sustainable Technologies, a group owned by Larry Aden from Nemaha, Iowa, and four others from the Austin area and the Twin Cities, hopes to buy the property and create a co-op where farmers would grow and sell fruit, vegetables, fish and other produce on site.

John Johnson’s father, also John Johnson, founded the family business as Johnson Greenhouse in Minneapolis in 1915, and the younger John took over in the 1940s.

The Austin property is listed at $895,000 through Blecker Realty, but will be up for auction, with an opening bid of $495,000, on Sept. 28 if it doesn’t sell.

The commercial property, at 400 31st St. SW, is 5.62 acres, and the roughly 47-year-old building is 139,000 square feet, according to Blecker.

Johnson said he’d like to see the property remain in use.

“I’d like to help the new owners any way I can,” he said, adding that they’re working to keep Johnson Floral employees on if Aden buys the property.

For more information on the property, find this story at and click on the link.

—Alex Smith contributed to this report.

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