Chris Polites is the third-generation owner of Polites Florists, a name synonymous with the flower industry in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Greek-American community. Polites Florists was the first Greek-owned flower store in the area and was established in Philadelphia (1418 Chestnut Street) in 1908 by his grandfather, Frank (Vangelis) Polites, an immigrant from Greece.
Before the Greek community expanded into West Philadelphia from Olde City, Polites Florists was already on the move from center city. In 1915, they were only the third business to open at the 69th Street Terminal, located in Upper Darby just beyond the West Philadelphia city limits.
The Greek community finally advanced west (1950s-1980s), into the suburbs, and planted its roots around 69th Street, where a new Greektown blossomed. There, the Polites Florists reputation grew with the community. Eventually, Polites Florists moved around the corner from the 69th Street Terminal to its present-day store on Garrett Road. For most of his life, Chris grew up in Upper Darby’s Greektown and worked at Polites Florists.
Today, Polites Florists are part of the history of Upper Darby, and its ever-evolving community, operating two stores, one in Springfield and the other in Upper Darby, both in Delaware County.
Originally published on Cosmos Philly by Eleftherios Kostans. Video by Vasilis Keisoglou.