Just Roses sells business as owner begins cancer treatments

A longtime flower shop has changed hands so the former owner can face down a fast-spreading cancer.

Connie and Sandy Wormington sold Just Roses Flowers & More, which has shops in Kennewick and Pasco, along with their wholesale flower shop, Columbia Wholesale.

Leslie and Richard Underwood of Diamond Back Farms are the new owners. The deal closed Sept. 1.

When reached for comment, Leslie said she and her husband preferred to stay out of the limelight and to let the Wormingtons talk about the sale since they were the longtime business owners.

No terms were disclosed.

The Underwoods’ granddaughter Taylor Rathbun has worked at Just Roses for about a year-and-a-half and plans to oversee the business’ management and success, according to Connie.

“It was our baby for 33 years. I want it to be continued on,” Connie said.

The Wormingtons owned Just Roses for more than three decades.

They launched in 1988, offering delivery of a dozen affordable red roses by a tuxedo-wearing driver. Connie told the Journal of Business in 2018 that the shop owned 35 tuxedo suits for its team of drivers.

In 1996, the couple bought out their former partners.

They launched the Pasco shop, located at 1835 W. Court St., in 2000.

Customers liked their drive-thru windows and floral delivery service so much that the company expanded and offered franchise opportunities, and in its heyday, operated 18 shops in the Northwest until the Great Recession took its toll on the business.

Property for sale

The Underwoods bought the businesses but not the Kennewick property, which the Wormingtons own. Just Roses has long leased the Pasco property.

The Kennewick property at 5428 W. Clearwater Ave. is for sale, along with the couple’s self-storage business, Just Storage, Connie said.

It is listed at $1.3 million, with a 6% capitalization, or “cap” rate. The cap rate reflects the return on the investment to the buyer. It is comparable to interest rates on savings accounts.

The property includes 4,574 square feet of retail space and 6,608 square feet of storage. Three buildings are leased to Just Roses. The NAI Tri-Cities listing indicates that 50 of the 56 storage units are occupied.

Time to retire

Connie, 74, and her husband, 75, knew it was time for their next chapter.

“We both have worked all our lives,” Connie said.

Connie’s worsening cancer also made it clear retirement was necessary.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago and recently learned the cancer had metastasized.

“That was a determining factor – we want to enjoy some of our life. I keep telling Sandy that I don’t want to retire and die, but I want to retire and live a fun life,” she said.

And what’s fun for Connie is traveling to play softball.

She’s a die-hard, lifelong, award-winning softball player, racking up plenty of trophies along the way in the senior leagues, playing on and against the top teams in the country in her age bracket.

“I’ll continue to play as long as I’m able to,” she said.

She had hoped to play in the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, earlier this month but her doctors advised against it.

“But you know, I’ll continue to fight this. That’s the way I am. I just really wish I could have gone. I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t expect the cancer to go so fast,” she said, noting with pride that her team earned medals at the game.

Connie said she’d like to be able to attend a tournament in Panama City, the last one of the year, but isn’t sure it’s possible.

She said in early October that she planned to begin chemotherapy and radiation.

“I just have to see how I do,” she said.

  • Done Reading?

    Take me back to the top

Latest News


Sign-up for our e-newsletter filled with featured stories and latest news.


Shred Day

April 14 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Spring Career and Internship Fair in Pasco

April 25 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Head & Neck 5K/2-Mile Walk in Richland

April 15 @ 9:00 am