Our History

Store founder Alvin T. Shotwell poses with flowers and plants in the late 19th century
Smoke and debris line the streets after a 1968 gas explosion leveled our showroom

A Fargo Staple Since 1888

When Alvin T. Shotwell opened Shotwell Floral Company in what's now Broadway Park in 1888, he couldn't have known he was starting a legacy, but that's exactly what he got. Through moves, expansions, explosions and floods, the Shotwell name has persisted for five generations, becoming synonymous with exceptional florals and customer service.

Success came early. The original 1888 store took off, paving the way for more growth---the green kind. The first greenhouse was built in 1908 under the leadership of W.B. Shotwell, Alvin's son, ten years after a move across the tracks to Broadway and Front Street. Through the first half of the century, Shotwell Floral flourished. In 1957, W.B.'s son J.W. "Jake" Shotwell became president and treasurer of the company, right around the time more greenhouses were built.

But after half a century of good fortune and prosperity, tragedy struck. In March of 1968, the retail store at Broadway and Main was leveled by a gas explosion, a blast so devastating that family member Betty Litten was prompted to remind local media of the company's resilience. "Never underestimate the power of the flower," she told the paper INFORUM. She was right. A new store was completed on Main that very fall. Shortly thereafter, John W. Shotwell, Jr. joined the company.

The 90s brought innovation and opportunities. Gifts and décor were added to the shelves, transforming the simple floral and nursery store into a complete shopping destination. After suffering a flood in 1997, the greenhouses were moved to where you'll find them today, and by 2003, a retail store had joined them, uniting Shotwell's four shops into one. Finally, Shotwell Floral Company had its many roots settled into one spot on 40th Street. The floral company with the daring family name was home.