After serving Italy in World War I, Joe Donzelli and his wife, Bessie, came to America in 1918. They settled in Akron, where Joe spent the next 45 years working for the Pflugers fishing tackle plant. The Donzellis eventually saved enough money to buy a piece of investment property on Waterloo Road.
When their son, Sam (Salvatore) came home from Navy service in Korea, he was driven to start his own business on his father’s property. Area residents clamored for a “beautiful business” that would improve the neighborhood, so Sam decided on a flower shop, opening Belle Rose Florist in 1953.
Initially selling fresh cut flowers, Sam soon began carrying a large selection of live flowers and plants to meet customer demand. Before long, Belle Rose evolved into Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center.
Today, the Donzell vision is alive and growing. Sam’s daughter, Julie, now operates Donzell’s while daughter, Pam, manages Gale’s Westlake Garden Center. Both are committed to taking the company into the future while staying true to their father’s ideal of running a “beautiful business”.
Clearly, they’ve done that and then some. Donzell’s has become a favorite destination for shopping, events, and of course, all things green. More than a plant store, our spectacular greenhouses, nursery and garden store offer an incredible selection of anything and everything on the garden enthusiast’s wish list.
And Donzell’s is one of the largest Garden Centers in the U.S. with 25,000 sq. ft. of building space, 13 acres of land, and parking for 300 guests. It’s also nationally ranked with Donzell’s/Gale’s Garden Centers ranking 21st in the “Top 100 lawn & Garden Retailers” 2012 report.