As part of our Q&A series, Morningsider brings you exclusive interviews with neighborhood “Insiders.” This week, we interview Louis Gagliano and Stefan Handl, owners of Harlem Flo, Floral Atelier.

Harlem Flo first opened its doors in the summer of 2007 when two previous coworkers of L’Olivier Floral Atelier, Louis Gagliano and Stefan Handl, teamed up to create what is now a Harlem staple. With a shared passion for the floral industry, they decided to open up a shop in Harlem, where Stefan has lived since 2003 and where they saw a great opportunity for their new business. With many years of experience between them, Louis and Stefan focus on giving their customers the highest quality customer service and the highest quality design.

1.     Tell us about Harlem Flo.

It was started by two floral veterans—Stefan has worked with many of the great florists in New York, creating floral for both events and individuals.  Louis started in the floral industry in 2004 after returning from living in France. We also previously worked together at L’Oliver Floral Atelier, which is Downtown.

2.     What inspired you to open Harlem Flo? 

Florists are part of the many services which help shape a neighborhood; we saw a need in the area and believed in what Harlem was, as well as its growth.

3.     What are your favorite flowers to brighten up winter? 

We tend to use many of the seasonal flowers in their respective season. Right now we are using Amaryllis, and pretty soon Tulips will be showing up more and more.

4.     What are your favorite Harlem hot spots?

So many! From Lido, Cedric, Nectar, 67 Orange and Red Rooster…and then there’s also Settepani, Cafe Latte, Chocolat and 5 & Diamond—There are so many great places to choose from!

5.  What is your favorite part about being a business owner? 

As florists, we get to connect with so many people; we go through the happy and sad times in their lives, create and design the decor for their special events—we’ve been able to work together to help build the community.

6.     Anything else you would like to add?

We are very happy to share this community with the people who send and receive our flowers. Our new Harlem Flo Boutique (featuring local crafts, gifts and house wares) also creates events and opportunities for people to come together and share and learn from each other.

Harlem Flo Floral Atelier

2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 123rd Street


Harlem Flo Boutique

2276 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 122nd Street