In the words of Reverend Dr. Kevin Cosby, of Louisville’s St. Stephen Church, “West Louisville Needs Some Wins.” His 2016, comment was in relation to the lack of economic development in West Louisville since desegregation and “White Flight” became a reality in the mid-1960s.
Since that time West Louisville has remained predominately black, economically challenged and in 2011, was home to one of the nation’s poorest zip codes.
According to Phillip M. Bailey of the Courier Journal – Louisville Urban League president and CEO, Sadiqa Reynolds, released a new 172 page report this past Friday, detailing the dire straits of residents living in West Louisville.
In that report she specifically addresses the “aspiration crushing” pressures of being black in Louisville due to political policies, resulting in keeping blacks from obtaining wealth. To make matters worse, West Louisville lacks the adequate amount of retail establishments necessary to keep revenue circulating within its own community.
In 2016, a four-month study conducted by OneWest revealed that an estimated $217 million in retail spending leaves West Louisville annually and is spent in other communities. After witnessing several major development proposals in the area fail to come to fruition, like the 18th Street Wal-Mart deal, some local residents are taking matters into their own hands by opening small businesses themselves.
The latest West Louisville business to open is Dn Surprise Florist located at 2001 West Broadway Suite 2. Owners Davin Anderson and his mother Sherrell Anderson have over 20 years experience as florists. Sherrell previously owned a flower shop in the Gene Snyder Federal Building for 10 years but closed it down about 7 years ago, due to rising lease rates at that location.
Davin encouraged his mother to get back into the business, so the mother and son team decided to take their talents to West Louisville. On Saturday, February 10th, Dn Surprise Florist celebrated their official Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who showed his support by buying an arrangement of flowers.
“We will be one of the best flower shops in the city of Louisville. I can say that because we work with people. Say for instance, you see something online and you don’t know how they got it made and the price is $125 – we will work with your price. Just say listen, ‘I only got $80, what can you make with this?’ And we’ll work with you. It’s all about helping the community… That’s why we’re here. That’s why we wanted to relocate and get into this area – for that reason.” – Davin Anderson
Dn Surprise Florist featured a half-off sale during the Grand Opening and supplied food and refreshments for customers. Their services include floral arrangements, wedding invitations, gift baskets, fruit baskets and much more.
“My aunt introduced me to the florist business years ago. She wanted me to help her out driving and then she started teaching me a few things about the business and I started to like it. After that I started taking classes… so I decided to start working at the federal building and make balloons and little small bouquets in the hallway. Well they kept selling out the same day. So, there was a little supply store in that building that wanted to sell my items but I thought, ‘If they can do it, then I might as well do it.’ That’s when I opened my Flower Shop.” – Sherrell Anderson.