Beloved Bronx flower shop owner tries to rebuild after 5-alarm fire destroys business
A Bronx flower shop is trying to rebuild after a five-alarm fire destroyed it on March 5.
Maribel Olivares says owning her business, Maribel’s Flower Shop, was a dream.
"I love flowers," She says. Her business blossomed in the Grand Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx.
"We sold in the streets, we had a business. Come every Mother's Day, we are always located in the streets," Olivares says.
Her dream of having a permanent place to sell her flowers came true seven years ago when she opened the flower shop.
She sold fresh arrangements as well as crafts from her home in Mexico.
"I had gotten into the craft industry here from Mexico to have something different, selling artisans' jewelry," Olivares says.
That all changed when an e-scooter caught fire inside the supermarket her business was attached to, destroying the Concourse Food Plaza, laundry mat and the flower shop.
"They started to tell us to leave quickly, but unfortunately, everything, everything was lost. But thanks to God, not one person or anything... we all turned out well. We do feel very sad," Olivares says.
In that moment, the last seven years of Olivares' hard work and investments withered away.
"I have to start from ground zero. My workers have children. Three families depend on this. We have to start from the ground up," Olivares says.
Her hope is to re-blossom in the community that has been behind her since the beginning.
Since she rented the space, Olivares says they are working out logistics with the insurance company which could take some time.
Her family set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses to open another shop. To learn more and donate click here.