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ROSEVILLE, MI-Chris Rea is anxious to re-establish the eastern-most link in his chain. Thrifty Florist is building a new, larger location in Roseville and will also be opening a location in Shelby Township soon as part of an expansion plan.

The Southfield-based chain will have 16 Detroit-area locations once the two new projects are complete. Thrifty had a location in Roseville, at Masonic and Gratiot, for a number of years but had been looking for the opportunity for a while to move to a larger facility. The chain plans to open on Gratiot between 12 Mile and Common Road in a 2,500-sf location by November. The new store will be almost three times the size of the former Roseville location. The former Roseville location had been the chain’s only leased store; it owns all the remaining properties. In Shelby Township, Thrifty plans to open a store at 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke by January to serve that ever-growing area.

The company owns all of the stores; there are no franchises. In fact, Thrifty Florist traces its roots back to the real estate business. Rea, the chain’s founder and CEO, was following his dad and brother into a family real estate investment business when he purchased a three-store florist chain in 1989.

The original chain had about $1.5 million in sales in 1989. That will grew to $11 million in 2004. Rea said he expects sales to be a bit higher in 2005, which he is satisfied with considering the chain’s Roseville location has been out of commission for most of the year with the move. The chain employs about 150 people.

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