Jenni Smith is taking over Forget-Me-Not Florist and Purple Post from retiring owners Tess and Tom Kaup. Her business, Be You Boutique, will also continue to operate out of the storefront at 101 S. Wayne St., Fort Recovery. Pictured is Smith with the Kaups. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
Jenni Smith is taking over Forget-Me-Not Florist and Purple Post from retiring owners Tess and Tom Kaup. Her business, Be You Boutique, will also continue to operate out of the storefront at 101 S. Wayne St., Fort Recovery. Pictured is Smith with the Kaups. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
FORT RECOVERY — Before retiring after more than 39 years, Tess and Tom Kaup wanted to find a good fit for their floral and print shop.

That’s why they chose Jenni Smith, the owner of Be You Boutique.

“We thought with her boutique and with her enthusiasm … we thought it was a good fit,” explained Tom Kaup. “We wanted somebody energetic … they had to be town-focused. Town-oriented.”

Smith is combining her business, which offers retail and personalized items, with Forget-Me-Not Florist and Purple Post, which has been owned by the Kaups for nearly four decades. The ownership change is set for Friday, with Smith planning to close the shop for 10 days as she makes the transition. (Forget-Me-Not will still be accepting calls for flower orders.)

Then, starting July 11, Forget-Me-Not Florist, Purple Post and Be You Boutique will be operating out of the same facility at 101 S Wayne St., Fort Recovery.

“I think this will fit in well down there, it’ll just expand what we offer in the one space,” Smith said. “It’ll give me more room to grow.”

Be You Boutique has been operating out of the back of Lifestyles Beauty salon since November 2018. The boutique offers children’s clothing and accessories as well as personalized gifts. Smith’s line-up has expanded in the last year, now including baby gifts and clothing and toddler items.

Purple Post sells custom t-shirts and other personalized wear. Along with floral arrangements, Forget-Me-Not Florist also offers home decor and gifts. Smith noted her boutique has similar retail and personalization options, making it an easier transition because her family and staff are familiar with a majority of the business.

“I think it’ll be a good fit,” said Smith, who has been training with the Kaups for about a week.

Tess and Tom Kaup opened the floral shop May 5, 1984. (They got their start after Tom’s brother, Jerry, and wife Lori Kaup opened Kaup’s Pharmacy across the street.) Tom also worked as a mail carrier for United State Postal Service throughout his career, delivering mail in the morning and helping with the shop in the afternoon and evening. He retired from the postal service in the fall.

The couple decided earlier this year to move on from their businesses. Prior to an interview Wednesday, visitors streamed in and out of the floral shop storefront, congratulating Tess and Tom Kaup on their retirement.

A 1999 graduate of Fort Recovery High School, Smith received her associate’s degree in occupational therapy from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, where she met her husband, Tim. She returned with her family to Fort Recovery in 2008.

Smith worked in the medical field for 18 years, serving as an occupational therapy assistant for Community Sports and Therapy in Coldwater and Comprehensive Home Health in Greenville. Prior to owning a boutique, Smith helped with work at her parents’ store in Portland — it was previously a Montgomery Ward before stores closed in the early 2000s — and her father’s Portland store, Mike’s Rent-All.

Hours for the boutique, floral and print shop are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. Saturdays. The shop will be closed Sundays.

Tom and Tess Kaup have no big plans in retirement, simply looking forward to spending more time with their children, Hannah, 26, and Spencer, 21.

“We’re moving on to new adventures,” Tess Kaup said. “We’re feeling pretty confident that it’s going to be in good hands.”

“We’ve been here a long time,” added Tom Kaup, noting they are both 65 years old. “It’s time to turn the reins over.”