Ana da Silva and her husband, Roy, live in Albany and have owned and run Ana's Flowers and Gifts, on Gilman Street in Berkeley, since 2005. Many of us have enjoyed Ana and Roy's warm and friendly service as they've helped us choose the perfect flower arrangements and gifts for weddings, special occasions and memorial services. A true locally owned business, Ana's has been a mainstay of the neighborhood through its many changes. Ana and Roy have chatted with our children and saved the handmade cards they've been given over the years, watching the toddlers become adults.
Roy has Alzheimer's, and Ana is his sole caregiver. Because of increasing caretaker responsibilities, Ana is unable to afford the rent and keep the store open. She'd like to open a smaller shop that will be easier for her to manage. Amazingly, a neighbor (Todd Jersey, who's also an architect) has spearheaded the effort to re-open Ana's Flowers and Gifts in the small kiosk at Gilman Street at Santa Fe and Masonic. He's gotten an agreement from the property owner to give Ana TWO YEARS rent free! Word has spread fast, people are lining up to help, and construction is beginning now, and set to take place over the next month! Work parties will take place on Saturdays beginning March 23rd.
With your help we can transform the crumbling kiosk into a safe and vibrant space for this sweet local business owner to continue her business, and to continue providing the local community with a well loved service.
Please give whatever you can, and come out to help in person! Ana is so touched and excited by the outpouring of love and support. What a lovely way to express our gratitude for these kind neighbors, and for the amazing community that we are part of. Thank you!
*A bit about how me and how donations will be used: I have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and my husband, Kent, and I met Todd Jersey (architect) over the past couple of years at Coffee Conscious, a few doors down from the flower shop. When we found out that Todd wanted to help Ana and Roy by remodeling the burned kiosk, we wanted to pitch in. Kent has been helping with the building, and I offered to raise the money. I am withdrawing funds in my name, and writing checks directly to Todd, who is coordinating the work. Funds will go to building materials, and for reimbursements to pay Todd for at-cost payments to his employee for his staff's hours to create drawings needed for city permits. Todd is buying building materials and paying staff as needed, and money is going directly to reimburse him based on receipts for such goods and services. No monies will go to pay the all volunteer construction team. Any additional funds over our goal could be used for marketing and other startup costs for Ana's Flowers and Gifts.