Work We Do: Peggy Kneski, Riverhead Flower Shop

My name is Peggy Kneski. I own Riverhead Flower Shop and Riverhead Flower Shop South Side in Hampton Bays.

We do so much — from everyday arranging to birthdays to sympathy work to wedding work. It really varies from day to day.

A lot of times a customer will leave it up to us and we’re able to use our design ability to create what we do with the flowers that we have in season.

We sell a little bit of giftware, a little bit of jewelry, scarves, pickup items. We have local followers that come in for teacher’s gifts, birthday gifts, co-worker gifts.

The creative end of it, I truly believe you have to have that within you. The techniques can be learned, but I believe that the artistry of it has to be something within you. And I just love the combination of color and texture of each different flower to put together, to create something new … every time you do something it’s different from what you’ve done before.

I actually took over Riverhead Flower Shop in 2010. It has been in business, I think, since 1990.

I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. There’s always bad days, good days, but I am very fortunate that I am able to do this in the town I grew up in.

It’s just a love of, passion of flowers that I’ve had. My dad was a farmer and the farm has been in our family for generations. I guess that somehow ties in.

My grandfather came over from Poland and settled in Southold and then he moved to Riverhead and bought a farm. My father continued the farm until he passed in 2012. My brother and brother-in-law continue the farm now and they grow potatoes and they raise a little bit of wheat and straw.

I can get up and go to work and love what I do every day. It’s very flexible so that I can raise my children and attend all their sporting events.

I think what I would like people to know is what I tell my children, especially now that they’re in their college years: You have to love what you do and it’s not work if you love what you do.

“The Work We Do” is a Riverhead News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by @peconiclanding. Watch the video by following the link in our bio. Photos and video interview by @rachelsiford.