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Gentleman of the Rose perseveres following fire

By Staff | Aug 11, 2012

When a fire gutted Roberto Figueredo’s flower shop in January, the Cape Coral resident did not shut down temporarily to wait out the repairs.

And he certainly did not call it a loss and take it on the chin.

Figueredo savaged what he could from the morning blaze, including some bouquets. By the afternoon, he had set up shop in his storefront’s parking lot and worked tirelessly to sell what he could of the flame-saved blooms.

For more than six months, Figueredo toiled out of that parking lot.

“I didn’t want to lose the customers,” he said, explaining that his store, Gentleman of the Rose, had been in business for more than four years.

Prior to the fire, his shop offered a range of flowers in store, accepted orders and made deliveries. It also serviced events, including weddings.

“We had everything,” Figueredo said of the available services.

In losing the space, he lost the coolers that kept his products fresh, which meant events were out of the question for the time being. Instead, Figueredo worked through the changing seasons, selling flowers out of water buckets.

It was how he first started in the business more than two decades ago. Figueredo has owned eight flower shops since – some sold, some closed.

“I stayed outside for six and a half months,” he said Thursday as he pieced together bouquets inside of his reopened shop with an experienced speed.

“But now, it’s too hot,” Figueredo laughed.

Two weeks ago, Gentleman of the Rose moved back indoors. The owner of the plaza has renovated the walls, floors and ceiling that were damaged and blackened in the fire, but there still remains a laundry list of things to do.

A rebuilt barebones set of coolers lines one side of the shop, and Figueredo has a countertop or two to work on, but not much else fills the store. Display cases, phone and computer equipment, and additional coolers are on his list.

“I’ve got a lot of work here,” he said.

“I’m working by myself for at least a month to get everything straight,” Figueredo said, adding that it could take about two months to bounce back.

And because he did not have renter’s insurance, it is all on him.

“It’s my problem,” Figueredo said.

He estimated that it could cost him another $7,000.

Prior to the blaze, three people staffed the flower shop. Figueredo tried to keep his employees on part time, but they decided to move on over time.

“We were doing very good, very busy,” he said of business prior to the fire.

Along with events, Figueredo explained that he lost some of his regulars over the past few months because they likely thought that he had closed down.

“We lost a lot of business, but God is beautiful, and we’re still here,” he said.

“Now, we have to start again,” Figueredo added.

At approximately 6 a.m. Jan. 13, Cape firefighters responded to a fire at 2938 Del Prado Blvd. S. The fire crews contained the flames to one business, Gentleman of the Rose, saving the storefronts located on either side of it.

The fire caused an estimated $37,000 in damage to property and a loss of $3,000 in contents, according to a report. The incident was ruled accidental.

Investigators determined that the area of origin was in the middle of the store beneath the sales counter. The point of origin was in and around some spliced wires that were connected to an electrical power surge protector.

Gentleman of the Rose is at 2938 Del Prado Blvd. S. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, contact Figueredo at 471-7918.