Want some tips for eliciting a smile? Ask Ramsey Kraft.
For 38 years, he was at the helm of Nanz and Kraft, a retail floral company his family established in 1850 in Louisville, Ky. That position granted him entrance to thousands of people’s most emotional experiences, including births, proms, weddings, retirements and funerals. No matter the occasion, he attests flowers bring cheer — if you deliver a quality product.
To ensure his business did just that, Kraft worked at least six days a week testing flower foods to extend vase life and researching new varieties from sources in California, South America and Holland.
Kraft made several trips to congressional offices in Washington, D.C., where he lobbied for issues, such as immigration reform, to broaden the legal workforce for flower farmers and keep costs down for the industry and consumers.
Since “mostly” retiring in 2005 (he still helps with holidays), Kraft splits his time between Louisville and Longboat Key. But the seasonal Beachplace resident still strives to make people happy. These days, he finds and shares joy volunteering at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, acting as “Popsy” the clown at birthday parties and performing magic tricks.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“When it’s 2 a.m. Feb. 14, you think, ‘This job might kill me.’ But then you see the joy on a customer’s face the next day, and it’s all worth it.”
Neighbor since: 2005