Today, June 10th, is Knaup Floral’s 100th birthday! In honor of this milestone, I spoke with owner Kathryn Knaup about her business and family history. This 3rd generation, family-owned business has seen an evolution in their industry from generation to generation. Each generation has found great joy and pleasure in what they do. You can hear in Kathryn’s voice the passion that she has for her work. She treasures her ability to provide comfort and happiness to community members for all their major life events: prom, wedding, births, and funerals.
Knaup Floral is a full-service florist shop located on William Street. They specialize in fresh and silk arrangements and have received the People’s Choice Award for the #1 Florist in Cape County every year since 2007!
Evolution of Business
Knaup Floral, under the leadership of Kathryn’s grandparents, John and Clara, grew many of their own flowers and even things like tomato plants. Clara was known for her intricate wedding floral designs. During this time, telegrams were used to place orders across the country.
When the business transitioned to Kathryn’s father, Richard, transportation was becoming much more efficient, so flowers were shipped in more often than grown. Kathryn remembers waiting with her father for the Greyhound buses transporting their orders.
When it was Kathryn’s time to take over the family business, she felt it necessary to evolve with the times and become more tech-friendly with a strong online presence. According to Kathryn, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the toughest time for her to get through as a business owner. She drew inspiration from her grandparents to persevere. Kathryn had found a record book showing her grandparents’ small, but consistent business payments during the Great Depression, and she knew that if they could survive then she could, too.
As for the next 100 years, Kathryn Knaup sees nationwide marketing as the next direction for florists. The goal would be to attract a nationwide customer base that calls Cape Girardeau to place their orders. Their website currently makes it easy to buy arrangements or gifts for all occasions with the click of a button!
Knaup Floral celebrated its 100th birthday in such a fitting way: a family get together at the family home behind the business. Kathryn Knaup said that it was a fun and relaxing time with family, friends, and employees, and, of course, they had a birthday toast. We’d all like to propose a toast to the past century of Knaup Floral in Downtown Cape and to many more amazing years to come! Cheers to ONE-HUNDRED years!