ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Valentine’s Day is approaching and it’s time to order those roses, and NEWS10 ABC is here to help.
After five days in the NEWS10 studio, we have the results of the NEWS10 Rose Test.
It’s a flurry of activity. Customers are browsing bouquets of pink, red, and orange, and florists are working as fast as their fingers will allow. It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and the Nagengast Family is celebrating a love-story with flowers that’s stood the test of time.
“That’s my grandfather in that picture and the two little boys are our fathers,” said Susie Nagengast.
Susie Nagengast is the third generation to run Emil J. Nagengast Florist on Ontario Street in Albany. She grew up surrounded by flowers.
“I never got paid and then I made 2.10 an hour, which is pretty pathetic,” Susie said.
Four other members of the family are involved too, all female, including Susie’s cousin, Anne, who says their grandfather would be proud of how the business has evolved.
“They’re with us all the time,” Anne said. “We always have signs that they’re here with us.”
The shop opened in 1910 and used to grow its own flowers. Now shipments come in from all over the world. Baby’s breath is fluffed out and now ready to work with. It’s a key ingredient for the classic valentine’s bouquet, a dozen roses.
With 40 years of experience, Diane Kopecki works quickly to keep the flowers in peak condition. Susie says that’s what they’re known for.
Beyond that, customers choose Nagengast because their parents and their grandparents did.
Proving a rose may not last forever, but it stands for something that lasts a lifetime, so how did the other roses fare? The roses from FTD came in second place. Although more expensive with tax and shipping, they have held up well but were not as grand as the ones from Nagengast.
In third place came another local favorite, The Lark Street Flower Market, where you can build your own bouquet. The arrangement was beautiful but the roses didn’t last as long. In last place, was Proflowers. Its flowers drooped after just two days, and the presentation was basic.