Updated 4:15 p.m.: Bay City Flowers, long a stalwart of the Coastside agricultural industry, announced on Tuesday it was closing its doors. The move would appear to affect dozens of jobs and local social service agencies are standing by to help.
"After four generations and 110 glorious years in floriculture, we at Bay City Flower Co. have decided that the time has come for us to wind down the selling of our flowers," said Bay City CEO Harrison Higaki in a prepared release. The release said the last day the business would ship flowers would be Nov. 10.
Higaki said in the release that there were many reasons for the decision to shutter the business, but that chief among them was the fact that it was increasingly difficult to operate a national flower farm "in the costliest place in the nation."
The release said the company would seek "alternative uses" for its infrastructure on the coast.
Workers told officials at Puente de la Costa Sur on Tuesday that they had been laid off. Puente Executive Director Rita Mancera said she was told 60 people had been laid off and that as many as another 190 could follow.
Bay City Flowers has been one of Half Moon Bay’s largest commercial concerns. The company was founded in in Redwood City in 1910 by Nobuo Higaki, a Japanese immigrant who grew cut carnations, roses, chrysanthemums and gardenias, according to the company’s website.
The family was forced into internment during World War II. After the war, Harry Higaki, the first son of Nobuo, returned to the Peninsula farm and incorporated the business under its current name. The company relocated to Half Moon Bay in 1959.
In 2012, Bay City Chief Executive Harrison Higaki was named Farmer of the Year at the annual Farm Day Luncheon in Half Moon Bay.
An earlier version had the wrong date for the company's move to Half Moon Bay.