Blair County's oldest floral shop has new owners and a new name.
Andrea Hammel and her husband, Jason, recently purchased Peterman's Florist Inc. from her parents, Sandy and Jack Schwabenbauer, and renamed it Peterman's Flower Shop Inc.
Peterman's has been a part of Altoona since George Peterman Sr. opened a shop on North Fourth Avenue in 1897. The business remained in the Peterman family until March 1987, when the Schwabenbauers bought the business from descendants of the founder and moved to Altoona from the Indianapolis area.
(Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich)
Andrea Hammel (left) and Sandy Schwabenbauer work on an arrangement at Peterman’s Flower Shop Inc., 608 N. Fourth Ave., Altoona, on Wednesday.
Sandy Schwabenbauer said she is "semi-retired" and will be able to devote more time to helping care for her husband's elderly father in St. Mary's.
"I will continue to work part time for a year or so as long as she needs me," Sandy Schwabenbauer said. "It is just time to pass it on and let Andrea have a chance."
Andrea Hammel, 40, has been a regular at the 608 N. Fourth Ave. shop for 17 years. After graduating from Altoona Area High School in 1989 - she helped at the shop while in school - she moved to the Pittsburgh area and held several jobs before returning home.
"Your hometown draws you back. I absolutely love Altoona. It is not too small, it has a good pace, it is not too fast like the city," Hammel said. "I was proud of the work my mom did and found my niche. There are not a lot of people that can say they love their job. It never feels like work."
Hammel, whose husband is a machinist at the Juniata Locomotive Shops, said she is excited to take over the business from her mother.
"I want to maintain the level of quality and service that people knew with Peterman's and add some new design concepts and some structural changes to increase efficiency," she said.
Hammel added she wants to appeal to the younger generation, noting that maintaining the online ordering side of the business is important, and she hopes to increase the business' foot traffic now that Juniata's streetscape project is complete.
"The future should be exciting," Hammel said. "I want to keep up with all of the great things from Peterman's past and incorporate the technology and knowledge of the future."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.