XENIA — After more than 50 years in business, Jim and Helen Wickline figured it was time.
The owners of the popular Wickline’s Florist, Garden Center, & Landscaping on North Detroit Street announced they will be shutting down the business Sunday, June 17. The landscaping portion of the business will remain in operation by Marcus Wickline out of the Brush Row Road location through the end of the year.
The Wicklines are selling the land and plan on retiring. An auction is planned for Wednesday, June 20.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Helen Wickline said. “I’ve loved my job. Good customer base. Good staff. Wonderful staff.”
Wickline’s roots can be traced to a greenhouse behind what is now Groceryland. Jim and his brother, Donald, opened a landscaping business and it grew from there. Wickline’s opened its first location in April 1967 and has been on Detroit Street not far from Xenia High School since 1971.
“My parents are wanting to move on to other things,” said Marcus Wickline, who serves as the president. “It seemed financially one of the best decisions we could make. We’ve had several people offer, come around for years. We just weren’t ready.”
He has worked in the family business “since before birth.” He was born six months after the store first opened and will now oversee its closure.
“It’s just another stage,” he said. “I’m having to deal with all the every-day stuff. Gotta keep things going. After the auction It’ll be a big sigh of relief.”
Another Wickline son, Doug, also worked in the family business until leaving to become a teacher.
About 15-20 employees will be affected by the closure. Marcus Wickline said they are working with them to help secure other employment.
Because it’s the busiest time of the year for landscaping-type companies, Helen Wickline is optimistic for her employees.
“It’s a good time right now,” she said. “The unemployment market is very low.”
She also said Wickline’s real boss — Fancy the cat — will “be taken care of well.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.