Ellison Perennials Fighting to Remain Open

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Entrepreneurs risk everything when opening up a business.

Bob Ellison, owner of Ellison Perennials, has earned his stay for the past 27 years, but is holding on with everything he's got.

Ellison Perennials has been open since 1986 and Ellison has been running Bloomfest every July since 1992.

But in May 2008, Ellison suffered a heart attack and his business was hit just as hard.

The owner says sales are around 20 percent of what it used to be and his storefront now reads "for sale."

On Saturday afternoon, Ellison hosted a bus tour from Milwaukee filled with flower enthusiasts and was hoping this could be the turnaround he needs.

"You're kind of pins and needles and you'er wondering are the people going to be in the mood to buy," said Ellison. "So the bus trip is very important to me. Any hybridizer is very happy when a busload of people is coming to his facility."

Ellison hopes the profit from the Milwaukee tour will allow him the financial flexibility to keep the flower shop open and keep Bloomfest for another year.

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