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Halstead, KS 67056
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Halstead Florist Closes Newton Shop

Posted 9/14/2017

JOHN Back of Halstead closed his Designs by John shop in Newton last weekend. Over his 40-year career, Back has run flower shops in Halstead and several locations in Newton.JOHN Back of Halstead closed his Designs by John shop in Newton last weekend. Over his 40-year career, Back has run flower shops in Halstead and several locations in Newton.By Pilar Martin

NEWTON—Designs by John has closed its doors in Newton. Owner John Back of Halstead said he has been thinking about closing for a while and made the decision last week. His last day was Saturday, Sept. 9.

Back has been a florist in the area for 40 years.

Back grew up on a farm outside of Mount Hope and developed an interest in flowers and plants early on.

“I always liked flowers, plants, and gardening,” he said. “I would sell flowers, vegetables, and plants from a truck. I sold bushels of stuff from the back of that truck.” Back was active in Future Farmers of America during high school.

After graduating from Haven High School, Back went to Hutchinson Community College, where he majored in business. He was also active in DECA, which is an organization for marketing, entrepreneurs, finance and managers.

Back got a job at Hutchinson Floral while at HCC.  He worked his way up to a designer within a few months of starting and got his own bench where he worked on his floral skills.

After HCC, he went to the Cliff Man School of Floral Design in Denver.

“They taught us everything about flowers and how to work with them from the very first step,” Back said.

After he graduated from that school, he worked for Moore’s and Swenson’s floral shops in Wichita. He continued his education at Kansas State University and was also in the Air Force Guard.

In 1976, he bought his store in Halstead from Maude and John Allison on Third Street. Two years after that purchase, he built a greenhouse onto the shop where he grew hundreds of plants.

In 1982, Back expanded his business to Newton. He first located at 212 Main. He started carrying tuxedoes for proms and weddings and outgrew that location. He moved the Newton shop to 610 Main and was there for 28 years. Back operated both the shops in Newton and Halstead during all of that time.

In 2012, Back closed the Halstead store and moved his Newton operation to 115 W. 5th.

Back continued to serve the community, providing arrangements for all occasions.

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