By Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

— Charlotte Plaza Floral, owned by Tammy Bush, is located in the old Carnegie Library at the corner of Cochran and East Harris streets in downtown Charlotte. But the former library building, built in 1903, is more than just a florist. Within those old stone walls, there is a bakery, a gift shop, a hair and nail salon and a clothing boutique, and all are women-owned businesses.
“We have such a good flow now, with all the businesses we have,” Bush said. “We support each other and become family.”
Sara Blassius serves as Bush’s right-hand person for the business and does a lot of the designing for the shop.

“I couldn’t do it without her,” said Bush of Blassius, who has been there for four years. “She’s like family now.”

The small-town atmosphere is an asset to Charlotte Plaza Floral.

“Our customers become our friends, big time,” Bush said. “We work with our customers within their budget and are willing to step outside the box to make them happy.

“You never know what you will find at Charlotte Floral. We always have something unique.”

Besides gifts and floral items, they also offer classes. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is closed on Sundays.

“However, If we are here [on Sundays] we are  open, though,” Bush added.

Other shops

The wide range of businesses inside the old library building offers convenience to customers, Bush said.
Hidden Beauty Salon is run by Shelby Anderson, Bush’s daughter. Anderson offers both hair and nail appointments. The salon is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Red Rosie Bakery is another business in the building. Red Rosie is owned by Colleen Armitage and is open Tuesday through Saturday mornings from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. They offer homemade baked goods of all kinds — including cupcakes, coffee cake, cheesecake, muffins, brownies, cakes, baked doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, traditional scones and cookies.

Lilypepper Boutique is located upstairs, in what was originally the children’s section of the library. Michelle Taylor, the owner of Lilypepper, features personalized shopping by appointment, bra fittings, special events and shopping during business hours, which are Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Lilypepper also offers online shopping.

The building

An interesting discovery was made in the building upstairs when work was done there. A small room was discovered behind the shelving. The room was filled with law books from a previous owner, along with an old bottle of scotch.

The Charlotte Carnegie Library was originally made possible by a grant of $12,000 from Andrew Carnegie, the father of the free public library movement in the United States. The city of Charlotte added another $3,000 to construct the building, which was opened to the public on December 3, 1903.


Photo by Deb Malewski

Charlotte Plaza Floral, owned by Tammy Bush (left), is located in the old Carnegie Library in downtown Charlotte. Also shown here is Sara Blassius, who does a lot of designing for the shop.