Aladdin Flower Shop changes hands |

Aladdin Flower Shop changes hands

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

The Aladdin Flower Shop in downtown Gardnerville has changed hands.

Owned by the same family for 42 years, Debbie Fleischer sold the two-story brick building in downtown Gardnerville to Rae Anne and Mike Alvarado.

The couple took ownership Jan. 1. Rae Anne Alvarado said she expects to make a few changes, but is committed to keeping the business a family affair.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I want to bring in more tropical plants, expand the varieties we carry, and start working directly with the growers. That way we can eliminate the middle man.”

Alvarado grew up on her grandfather’s Santa Barbara flower shop and has designed floral arrangements since she was 14. She and her husband operated her grandfather’s shop for seven years.

“At the time, we were commuting to Santa Barbara, and we have four children. We needed an easier lifestyle.” she said. “We visited friends here and fell in love with the area.”

Purchased in 1960 by Ethel Fleischer andher pharmacist husband, Milton, Aladdin was the only flower shop in town for 22 years. Ethel Fleischer said the town’s population was about 400, and the shop was across from its present location next to Sharkey’s on Gardnerville’s Main Street. Aladdin moved across the street from the French Bar in downtown Gardnerville in 1982. The original building has since burned.

Debbie Fleischer gave up a career in pharmacy to purchase the business from her mother, Ethel Fleischer, in 1985, but after more than 17 years, she said it’s time to move on.

“I knew I was ready to sell the business, but wanted it to go to someone who would take care of our customers,” she said.

Ethel Fleischer said running a florist shop is a major commitment, requiring long hours, but she always enjoyed coming in the next day. She “volunteered” at the shop after selling it.

“The work is especially rewarding when a customer comes back to us how much they appreciate our work,” she said, adding she will miss the people.

“I want to give all our customers a special thanks for their continued support over the years,” Fleischer said.