MANASQUAN — It will take more than a fire to keep Mueller’s Flowers and Gifts from fulfilling its orders. After the longtime Manasquan business was severely damaged in a fire on Sunday night, the community and neighboring retailers have rallied around the florist. “We have listened and read every single one of your messages and are extremely moved by all of the thoughtful words and prayers we have received,” said Mueller’s business owners Caleb Mauro and Nanci Marta in a statement. “We feel extremely blessed to be part of such a wonderful community that we now look to as family. We are very saddened by what has occurred and we are determined to rebuild Mueller’s with the same charm and character that made us fall in love with the shop.” One business, Flowers By Rhonda in Brielle, helped Mueller’s fill an order for a funeral on Monday, the day after the fire. Mueller’s will temporarily operate out of Flowers By Rhonda for the time being to fulfill all existing orders. “We are extremely thankful for Rhonda’s generosity and compassion during this difficult time,” stated Mr. Mauro and Ms. Marta. While Mr. Mauro and Ms. Marta own the Mueller’s Flowers & Gifts business, the property and the building is still run by the Mueller family. Sharon Kregg, whose grandfather, George Mueller , started the business nearly 90 years ago, said the shop meant something to everyone in her family. “The flower shop always meant something to everyone in the family,” said Ms. Kregg. “It touched everyone of my 58 cousins, and my aunts and uncles. It was like their flower shop too. We sold it two years ago, we own the land and the property, they [Mr. Mauro and Ms. Marta] bought the business, and they’re becoming part of the family just by that.” According to Manasquan Fire Marshal Chris Barkalow, the initial dispatch for the fire came in at 7:22 p.m., after the shop was closed for the weekend.
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