Grant Avenue Florist Owner Growing in Another Direction

After 10 years there, Millita Walker plans to sell business and return to school.

The little shop at 1129 Grant Ave. in downtown Novato has been a florist since it first opened its doors in 1952. It still has the same phone number, a well-established clientele, and the shop still serves some of the same customers it has had since the ‘60s.  

In April, Novato Patch announced the Readers’ Choice Awards and Grant Avenue Florist was voted by readers as the No. 1 florist in town. It was also awarded second place (out of 71) in this year's A-List Awards for Best Florist and a third place for best wedding flowers in a Bay Area competition hosted by ABC7. 

Despite the recent barrage of flowery recognition, Millita Walker, the owner of the shop, is getting ready to move on. Ten years after taking the reins, Walker said she is feeling a pull in another direction. She hopes to enroll at Dominican University and study English and writing.  

Walker’s hopes may soon materialize as she says she has just received a letter of intent from an interested buyer.

“I’m really happy the interested party is a floral designer," Walker said. "This place is a Novato legacy."

Walker said she hopes the ownership transition will occur around the first of the year. The mother of a 2-year-old and an 11-year-old is keeping her fingers crossed and looking forward to the next chapter in her life.

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T.Sprocket December 01, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Another great downtown Novato business that is either for sale, owners moving on to pursue other ventures, "huge (closing) sale", or simply closing the doors. Don't be mistaken this is a great business, as was the White Rose Ranch and countless other Grant Avenue businesses that are no longer. Why? Great owners and each with great products. Each of these shops would thrive in downtown Petaluma or San Rafael but not on Grant and not in Novato. Why not?
Betty Pancakes December 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM
T.Sprocket, you are so right! The Grant Ave. small business exodus is alarming, disturbing and downright sad. Do you remember that FANTASTIC bookstore a few years back on Grant? That closed too! Boo hoo hoo. I'm drawing a blank on the name, but ahhhh, that bookstore. Life if Novato has never been the same since then! I'm not quite sure what the answer is. Surely there is somebody within the great ranks of the Novato Patch community who can come up with a stellar answer!
2MudDucks December 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
What are you talking about?!! The fabulous shops in the Oldtown area are doing great! …even without a bookstore! Are you referring to the old dusty used book store on Grant? Excuse me! A store owner making a “life style” change doesn’t mean “failure”! If you visit San Rafael, you will notice that all the boutiques are virtually gone! The shops in the Theatre District of Petaluma are gone! And guess where those shoppers are going to tootle around? NOVATO! Perhaps if you took the time to tootle, grab lunch, & shop, you would insure the longevity of the really great shops & restaurants we now have.
Betty Pancakes December 01, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yikes yahoo-ee and Geez Louise, I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers, MudDucks (two mud ducks? Wow, impressive!). There is a very smart, bright, intelligent and VERY WISE woman who posts on this site from time to time (cough cough, wink wink) and she once owned some reportedly fabulous bookstore that fell victim to, well, I'm not sure what. But she said that Grant Ave. was like, I don't know, struggling or something because her Master of the Universe bookstore didn't last. I'd invite her to contribute her witty and insightful and totally informative and relevant comments on the site ... but she so RARELY posts .... that I wonder whether we will never hear from her again.
T.Sprocket December 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM
2MudDucks, do you believe everything you read? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_(public_relations) Can you give Patch readers a lucid argument as to why you believe the shoppers from Petaluma and San Rafael are flocking to Old Town Novato? I honestly would love to hear it because it runs contrary to everything I have seen or heard. Thank you.
2MudDucks December 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM
T.Sprocket...not sure if you are still following these comments...but in response to your response....We just happen to have one of those flourishing businesses & thru our conversations with customers, we have discovered that people are driving from southern & central Marin, plus Petaluma to Novato. I know it is hard for many to believe. We are pleasantly surprised as well.
Millita Walker December 06, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I own Grant Avenue Florist! I have managed to make this business survive some of the hardest economic times that my generation has ever seen, AND we are thriving. We are definitely not going anywhere. The community has been amazing, and offered more support than I ever could have imagined. Check out our reviews on Yelp...we're doin' just fine, thanks!!! I made the personal decision to finish my education and to spend more time with my family. I know that I am an accomplished businesswoman. At 36 years old, it is time for me to see what else I can accomplish.
Millita Walker December 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM
The woman who is buying my store...just stumbled in when she came down one Saturday from Napa for lunch...it does happen, people do come to Novato... "if you build it...they will come"
Millita Walker December 06, 2012 at 06:36 PM
AND...I'll be the first to agree that Downtown Novato needs help. There are far too many vacancies. But there are sooo many new and exciting things happening as well. Let's start filling those spaces with high end tenants and create the ultimate shopping district that we need!
2MudDucks December 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
You Go Girl! Beyond your good business sense....you are one of the most talented floral arrangers around. Your creativity will be missed! Hope the new gal is as well.


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