Preserving East Side Assets
For nearly 100 years, Korash Florists has served the east side community.
James Rodgers has run the business since 1983, taking over from Nate and Betty Korash, the couple who helped to raise and mentor him from the time he was 13 years old.
As time went on, they saw that I could be trustworthy and that I was a hard worker,” Rodgers said. “If they told me to show up at 9 o’clock, I would be waiting outside at 8:30 in the morning.”
Rodgers began by doing general clean-up chores and other tasks. He stayed and worked at the shop–through high school—and then college—learning all the while.
“I really patterned myself after him (Korash) and when he said that he wanted me to take over this business, which was an honor, I said there’s no way in the world I’m going to let this fail,” said Rodgers.
In December, Rodgers will mark 30 years as owner of the business, which is located at the corner of Gratiot and East Grand Boulevard.
The Riverfront East Congregational Initiative, comprised of 17 diverse faith communities, has worked for two years to identify community assets and seek support to preserve them.
“They stayed here. They paid taxes. They stayed here because they had so much love for the city of Detroit, just like I do,” said Isabella Howard, who worships at New Calvary Baptist Church.
The group’s “Luv D East Side Campaign,” has identified Korash Florists as a real community asset.
“It’s just a pleasure to be able to serve them,” said Rodgers, “and it’s also a pleasure when they come in and they can see our people servicing them in the community in which they grew up.”
For more information on the efforts of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, vist: http://miroundtable.org/riverfronteast.htm
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