In a Sign of Changing Economy, an Iconic Flower Company Closes its Doors

Each morning, just after the sun lights up the shores of Half Moon Bay, Rosa Manrriquez steps out her door, walks past the neatly manicured flowers lining her walkway, and drives to the Bay City Flower Company, a place she has called a second home since 1979, when she began working there.

But on this October morning, the trip to work is one of her last. On Nov. 10, the family-owned flower operation will close its doors for good, marking the end of an era for a company, started 110 years ago by a Japanese immigrant, that survived the Great Depression and the family’s internment during World War II, and grew into one of the largest employers in Half Moon Bay.

Many area residents fear that the closure, which the company attributes in part to rising labor and production costs, is an ominous sign for the remaining nurseries in San Mateo County, which in recent years have struggled to keep up with a changing economy and the global flower market.

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