Santa Clarita florist Steve Hanauer dies at 76

The Signal - - BUSINESS - By Pa­trick Mullen Sig­nal Busi­ness Ed­i­tor

Florist and com­mu­nity leader Steve Hanauer died Wed­nes­day at age 76, due to com­pli­ca­tions from a fall. He opened Steve’s Va­len­cia Florist on Lyons Av­enue in 1974.

Steve and his wife Jan’s paths had crossed long be­fore they started dat­ing in 1986.

Steve had been a friend of Jan’s fa­ther, and Jan had been a stu­dent in a re­gional oc­cu­pa­tional pro­gram flo­ral de­sign class at John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills.

In 1986, Jan called to or­der flow­ers, “and we were both newly sin­gle,” Jan said. “He had a cer­tain charm, a way of jok­ing with peo­ple. And he was tall, and I’m tall, so that helped.”

When they started dat­ing, Steve sent Jan a sin­gle rose the first day, two the sec­ond day, and more each day un­til she re­ceived a dozen.

By that point, Steve had been run­ning the shop on Lyons Av­enue for twelve years, hav­ing moved up from San Fernando, where he’d also run a flower shop.

Steve got started in the flower busi­ness in ju­nior col­lege, when he and a friend got jobs driv­ing a florist’s de­liv­ery truck.

The friend ended up go­ing into busi­ness sell­ing sup­plies to florists, and Steve ended up be­com­ing one.

Steve made the move to Santa Clarita be­cause “I think he liked the small town feel that ex­isted here back then,” Jan said. “It was just Ne­whall and Sau­gus re­ally, but it was grow­ing, and it was just nice out here,” she con­tin­ued.

Over the years, Steve’s grew with the com­mu­nity, adding a sec­ond store on Bou­quet Canyon Road, which he sold in the early ’90s and a third, which closed in 1996, in the Va­len­cia In­dus­trial Cen­ter. For a time, they had a store on Town Cen­ter Drive where Apollo’s Bar­ber Shop is now lo­cated. The Hy­att had just opened, and there wasn’t yet enough foot traf­fic to sup­port that lo­ca­tion.

Steve’s also held the con­ces­sion to sell flow­ers at the gift shop at Henry Mayo Ne­whall Hospi­tal for a num­ber of years, and the shop con­tin­ues a tra­di­tion at the hospi­tal.

“When pa­tients, and it’s usu­ally women, fin­ish their treat­ment for breast can­cer and get the word that they are can­cer free, we give them a com­pli­men­tary pink rose,” Jan said. “We go some weeks with­out any; this week, there are three. Re­ceiv­ing a flower makes peo­ple happy.”

Steve’s also pro­vided a free bou­quet of flow­ers each week for the re­cep­tion desks at The Sig­nal and Santa Clarita City Hall. “It’s a nice ges­ture, and we left some busi­ness cards next to the bou­quet, so it was prob­a­bly good for busi­ness,” Jan said.

To­day, Steve’s is back to its orig­i­nal store on Lyons Av­enue, by now the old­est fullser­vice flower shop in Santa Clarita.

It’s a fam­ily op­er­a­tion, with Jan and two daugh­ters run­ning the shop. Most of its em­ploy­ees have been with the shop for more than 15 years.

Steve was in the store ev­ery day un­til about two years ago, when health prob­lems forced him to cut back to a cou­ple of af­ter­noons a week.

Steve car­ried a note­book in which he kept track of wed­ding an­niver­saries, birth­days and other im­por­tant dates, so he could make timely re­minders to his reg­u­lar cus­tomers when it was time to buy a bou­quet.

He was ac­tive with the Ki­wa­nis Club of Santa Clarita, serv­ing a term as pres­i­dent, and help­ing to or­ga­nize its an­nual 5K run at Magic Moun­tain. He also helped run the lo­cal chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety’s an­nual Daf­fodil Days fundraiser, and sup­ported the SCV Boys and Girls Club and the SCV Se­nior Cen­ter.

“He was an amaz­ing per­son, so sweet,” said Nikkie Ha, man­ager of the Man­darin Wong Restau­rant next door to the flo­ral shop. “And his shop has the best flow­ers.” Jan shares that sen­ti­ment. “This busi­ness was his life, and it was a lot of hard work. But he loved it.”

A memo­rial ser­vice for Steve is planned, but no date has been set.

Pa­trick Mullen /The Sig­nal

Steve Hanauer, owner of Steve’s Va­len­cia Flow­ers since 1974, died Wed­nes­day due to com­pli­ca­tions from a fall at age 76.


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