If the four walls of Saville Flowers in downtown Evanston could talk, they’d tell many stories about how the small flower shop has stood the test of time.
Don Saville opened the doors of the long-running family business in 1942, in the midst of World War II, with Bing Crosby at the top of the charts.
Saville ran the business until the 1970s, when he passed it on to his daughter and her husband, who were succeeded by two of their children in the 1980s.
“My mother and sister grew up in the store and have always been involved in the business.” It’s all in the family. “They took over in 1987,” said Mark Jones, the fourth-generation family member to lead the company.
“We’ve arrived in 2022. In 2016, I took over on my own. On the Fourth of July this year, we celebrated six years of ownership for me.”
Jones’ life had always revolved around the store, from when he was a toddler to college summers spent stacking stems and weaving them into beautiful bouquets.
“We try to have people leave with something very special,” Jones said.
The company has grown through the ups and downs that life often brings.
“All of those grand celebrations, your life cycle is marked by flowers,” Jones explained.
According to the owner, multigenerational decade-long customers who return to a place that feels like family keep the business alive.
“I think that’s what distinguishes it,” Jones said. “Someone walks in and says, ‘My plant is doing great.’ ‘Sweet, let’s see a picture,’ we say. It’s entertaining, you know.”
While Mark Jones does not have any children, he sees a long succession horizon and believes his great-grandfather would be pleased with how things turned out. The eight-decade-old legacy is still going strong.
A party will be held to commemorate the occasion on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 4-7 p.m. Anyone who wishes to attend can do so by clicking here.
“With my mom owning it for 39 years, the family dynamic is really great,” Jones said. “We have a lot of people coming this weekend, and we’re excited to see her see an old friend again.”