By Mary MacDonald - November 16, 2018 4:00 am
Twenty years ago, Jeffrey Kerkhoff opened a floral studio in a narrow backroom of an upholstery business on Broadway, on the west side of Federal Hill in Providence.
The space didn't have a professional sink. He cleaned emptied flower pots and containers by taking them into the bathroom and washing them in a portable tub that he placed on the toilet.
“It was tiny, and it was cheap rent,” Kerkhoff said. “It was a place to get started and get going, and then I was going to move to a real neighborhood.”
The neighborhood at that time? “It was a dump,” the floral designer said, describing a landscape of prostitutes and derelict buildings, sketchy characters and people trapped in low-rent apartments.
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