May 3, 2010

Closed: French Tulip

We noticed that the doors to French Tulip have remained closed for some time - so we dropped a note to the owner. Sadly, the picturesque flower, linen and savon boutique is now closed for good. Here's what the owner writes:
Due to dwindling sales and factors beyond our control we were forced to close the doors in early April and have since dissolved the business. This was not something that was easy for us to do after owning the shop for the past 8 years and working there for nearly 6 more. It was with heavy hearts and even heavier financial debt that we were forced to close.

It is difficult to be small business owners in today's economy, many changes we've watched over the past 14 years have surprised and shocked us. We'd like to remind everyone that in order to keep local shops open your business is crucial. While it is too late for us, there are several other Noe Valley businesses on the brink of closure. Rather than save $5 at the grocery store or large retail outlet consider shopping with small local merchants. They need you now more than ever.

-Laetitia Phelps
Sorry to see French Tulip go.


Nicole said...

I loved French Tulip and the really sweet people who worked there. I shopped there often. I am truly sorry to see them go.

I do have to say, the flowers I bought there never lasted more than 3 days, no matter how diligently I took care of them. That's the only reason I shopped there less over the past few months.

mulls said...

The flowers there were a tad expensive, it's tough to support local business when it's this expensive - similar florists on the same street are half as much.

Speaking of local business, I had a great experience a few weeks ago at Spice Super Club - a monthly supperclub that supports all local Noe business - Drewes, Urban Cellar, etc etc - it's great.

Anonymous said...

Quick poll!

Which of the following is the LAST kind of business you'd like to see take over an empty Noe Valley storefront?

(a) Another nail salon
(b) Another bank
(c) Another title company
(d) Another ill-conceived business that's doomed to failure (for example, a sunglasses shop, a mini spa, or a psychic)

Anonymous said...

None of the above. It's not our business as consumers to decide what business goes on 24th st. or not.

If no one patronizes it, or it has bad service, food, products, etc. it will fail.

simple as that.

Anonymous said...

I desperately want a Mission-style produce store that sells veggies for a Mission-like price. Whole Foods produce is just WAY too expensive - I'll rarely buy it. And it doesn't even taste better than what I get in the Mission.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on wanting a Mission-style produce shop for our family. Whole Foods is not a reasonable alternative. (Apologies to the person who refuses to tell others what he'd like because only economic markets get to choose in his world...)

Anonymous said...

If you're willing to walk down Church, the produce store at 30th is awesome.

Anonymous said...

The produce store at 30th & Church is awesome!! And the nicest people with the most affordable prices. I bought 7 bags of produce there for $137. I bought two bags of produce at Whole Foods and it was almost $100

Anonymous said...

I agree about the flowers being a bit pricey. I go over the hill to Castro and get them at Urban Florists. He has the best flowers, best prices and the bunches are huge. Noe Valley had three florists which was a bit ridiculous. Quite frankly I think we only need one, the other two are owned by the same people and I don't understand why they don't combine the two locations. I am all for a nice wine bar to open up.

Anonymous said...

Great call on the Castro, the florists right over the hill are night and day from 24th St.

@mulls - agreed on Spice club, thats funny. I was lucky (smart) enough to go 3 or 4 months ago - it was a blast. Like partying with 40 of your closest Noe Valley neighbors.

To the future merchants of 24th St - good luck, it's rough.

Anonymous said...

I never want to see a shop or restaurant go out of business but I lived on 24th Street for several years and never felt welcome at this shop. I know people who grew up in the neighborhood and loved this shop and would tell me how great they were; I just wish I got to experience the same level of service. In contrast, the flower shop near the post office have always be super friendly and helpful especially when they opened shop. I now live in upper Noe and buy my flowers at Canyon Market or at Alemany Farmers Market where I don't get the attitude I experienced at French Tulip.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of employees with bad attitudes, when is the 24th Street Cheese Shop going out of business?

Anonymous said...

Wow, sad to see them go... They did our wedding flowers almost 8 years ago. They did an amazing job and were so nice to work with. And she's all complain about big chain stores and Whole Paycheck but no one wants to put their money where their mouths are...shame.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Anonymous (May 5, 2010 8:36 PM) is boycotting Whole Foods. I really doubt it. I would suggest that there is a happy medium in here somewhere. If you're like most people that I know in Noe Valley, you support the local businesses that provide useful goods and/or services, and you patronize bigger, non-local stores (such as Whole Foods) for other essentials (for example, groceries). I don't see what's wrong with supporting both.

There are other reasons why small business fold (and large ones fold, too -- remember Rite-Aid, AAA, and Aveda?). Are people in Noe Valley supposed to buy flowers they don't need in order to help keep French Tulip afloat? Did we somehow owe it to French Tulip to buy a bouquet once a week? I don't buy many flowers. Do I owe French Tulip an apology?

Look at Video Wave. While other larger and more centrally located Noe Valley video stores have failed, Video Wave continues to have a strong, loyal customer base. They must be doing something right.

Being a business owner of any kind is a risky undertaking. I personally am not cut out for it, but I applaud those who go for it (especially in this economy) and wish them well as they try to carve out a following in whatever market they choose. I just find it hard to believe that (May 5, 2010 8:36 PM), the owner of French Tulip, or anyone else for that matter, supports only local, small businesses for every last need they have.

Carol said...

The flower ship at French Tulip location is reopened...the new owner is the original owner of the flower shop next to the post office. He sold that a few years ago and left the neighborhood, now he is back to reopen at FT location.