, Salem, MA


June 19, 2013

End of an era

Last original Pickering Wharf shop to close


While looking for a location, someone told him: “This Pickering Wharf thing is really going to take off.”

Pickering Wharf may have started trying to be like Faneuil Hall Marketplace, but Peter Barter said, “This was never going to be a Quincy Market.” There used to be a food galley that was jammed on the weekends, quality boutiques and clothing stores, but they did not last. A series of management companies over the years did not help matters. He has praise for present managers Rockett Management and Realty Co., which he said cares and wants to make Pickering Wharf work.

The store has changed since then, too. His daughter does much of the buying now, and she brought in other gift lines that appeal to a younger crowd.

“I’m very, very sad that we are closing,” said Peter Barter. Business is also down with the recession, and the flower business has changed. People order flowers from the Internet with no idea if what they are ordering is even in season. The store must compete with supermarket chains. Worst of all, online flower buying means there is no need for flower designers.

“I would do an arrangement, and my people can tell you this, I’d be doing it and I’d be making it, and I would stand back and I would get these shivers and I would do a dance,” he said.

Peter Barter is thankful for business from the Hawthorne Hotel and the Peabody Essex Museum, plus his regular customers, many of whom were brides and their moms looking to plan the flowers for a wedding.

“You take care of them and you listen to their needs,” he said. “Listening is one of the most important things in this business.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.




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