50 Years—50 Stories: A. Johnson & Sons Florist

A. Johnson & Sons Florist
80 Years on Grand Avenue

A. Johnson & Sons Florist is a family run business that has been on Grand Avenue for nearly 80 years (officially 80 years this July). Not only have they remained on Grand Avenue, they have remained at the same address—1738 Grand Avenue.

Although the address is the same, this very different company than the one started by Aaron Johnson in 1936, when he rented his 800 square foot storefront.  “My grandfather’s dream was to always have one customer in the store at all times.” Tells current owner, Tom Johnson, grandson to Aaron Johnson.

The first major changes came in the 1950s after founder Aaron Johnson retired and his son Gerald took over the business. Gerald purchased the entire building (seven store fronts) and began expansions over several years as business moved out. Eventually expanding from the 800 square foot space to its current 8,000 square foot configuration. When Gerald retired in the 80s, his son Tom Johnson took over the business and still runs it today.

Tom took over the business just as the industry was going through some major changes. “We thought about expanding but this would mean much more management,” said Tom “We realize that this location is very centrally located and is easy access to the entire metro area we serve. We chose to stay with just one location” Instead they began working on their Internet presence and distribution.

Tom Johnson has been part of the business since he was very young. He is proud to be part of the community and all Grand Avenue has to offer. He and his wife Heidi even lived on Grand Avenue, with their two boys, for about ten years. “We are blessed to have so many memories.” Says Tom. “Four generations of Johnson’s have worked here. Our customers are now third and fourth generation customers, who often bring their elderly parents and grandparents in to visit. We even have a young fellow who is a third generation employee”.

The family has also been a part of the progress of Grand Avenue. A. Johnson & Sons Florist has been a part of the Grand Avenue Business Association for as long as Tom can remember. Various family members have served on the Board of Directors, participated in committees. “I want to see this avenue succeed and the Grand Avenue Business Association creates a unified voice.” states Tom,” I remember the new street lights, rezoning of the avenue and the Grand Avenue changes on the east end down the hill to 35E. Most recently it was the parking meter issue that benefited from the organization.”

As a young man, Tom was involved in events on Grand Avenue “I remember the first Grand Old Day. I was really young and pushed a cart all over Grand Avenue that day selling daisies” Tom reminisces “After that we ran five flower carts for about ten years. Later I got more involved and was in charge of the parade and also concessions.”

80 years and counting, A. Johnson & Sons Florist is still going strong; with exceptional customer service rating, award winning designers and a distribution system that gets rave reviews. They even offer same day delivery. Although they have exceeded grandpa Aaron’s original goal: “One customer in the store at all times”, they still stand by the same values and personal customer service of that original store.

A. Johnson & Sons Florist
1738 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105


A. Johnson & Sons Florist serves the entire Saint Paul/Minneapolis metro area directly from their shop on Grand Avenue.  They can place any order throughout the world via a network of trusted florists and delivery outlets.

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