Ansilio, founder of Flower Tent, offered to provide complimentary plants from his Blackman Street location to replenish the ruined garden of Wilkes-Barre resident Sharon Butczynski, which was mistakenly cleared by city officials.
What you may not know is that his business has been around for more than a quarter-century, and has spread well beyond Northeastern Pennsylvania through a successful franchise program.
Q: I understand you started Flower Tent in 1992 with a single location in Wyoming? Tell me a little about how you got into the business.
A: I needed money and my father suggested it to me because I was trying to get a new business started. I was in the food processing-business, and my dad said “I used to sell flowers for Easter,” so why don’t I get into that. “Put some money in your pocket and start selling Easter flowers.”
I did well that week of Easter. I told my dad I’m going to the next town over and open up another stand and sell flowers for Mother’s Day. That season I told my dad I love the flower business and I’m going to open up ten more.
The following year I brought my brother into the business and we grew from there.
Q: You started to grow pretty quickly. How big is Flower Tent now and how many locations are there?
A: We have over 100 locations spanning eight states. Our headquarters is still in Wyoming, Pa.
Q: This is a franchise business right?
A: Yes, and a lot of homework and legwork was involved. We started franchising a few years ago. I just got back from helping set up a franchise in Denver. We are also working on the paperwork for a franchise in San Diego.
Q: How important has the support of family been to you in developing the business?
A: You need the support of your family in friends in order to do anything.
Q: What is your busiest time of year?
A: Mother’s Day weekend.
Q: Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
A: My best advice is to just stick with it. Times may seem tough but the good days always outweigh the bad.
Q: Any other thoughts on why this industry has been a good one for you?
A: No matter if it’s a good economy or a bad economy, flowers still sell. The only thing that hurts this business is bad weather.