A family-owned greenhouse in Newbury is closing following the unexpected death of a family member in May.
Susan Sforza Nico, 47, of Seabrook, New Hampshire, died in a car accident on May 21 while working at Byfield Greenhouse and Garden Center, which is owned by the Sforza family.
Marblehead resident Janet Bach, 70, allegedly went into reverse “very, very quickly” near the cash register, striking and killing Sforza Nicco and injuring two other customers.
Bach was charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the incident, but pleaded not guilty, to the consternation of the Sforza family.
The Sforza family announced on Facebook on Monday that they have decided to close the greenhouse.
“Closing our family business is like a death on top of our already tragic death of Susan. She wouldn’t believe the series of horrific events that have occurred since the Dark Day. She would be completely heartbroken to know that my father’s dream has come true… it’s all over,” the family wrote.
“We know that this affects your lives as well. We know you stand by us and support our difficult decision. Thank you to all our family, friends and loyal customers. You mean everything to us and we will truly miss interacting with you in the greenhouses.”
Newburyport Daily News reported Monday that the family business began with the Sforza Farm in West Newbury in the 1960s.
Charlie Sforza, Nic’s father, eventually started his own business by building the Byfield Greenhouse and Garden Center in the family’s yard on Chute Road in 1978, the newspaper reported.
All seven of Sforza’s children worked in the greenhouse for years Daily news reported. Sforza Nico was the manager of the greenhouse for 15 years.
“Life as we know it and lived it revolved around the greenhouse. We worked there. We played there as children. Our children learned to count money and return change there. We met friends there. We created an unbreakable community there. That property is special,” the Sforza family wrote on Facebook.
The family reopened the greenhouse after Sforza Nic’s death for a week at the end of May, but then closed it again.
The community rallied around the Sforza family with financial and other types of support, Daily news reported.
“We are a big family and this is a deep, deep wound. There was a lot to process,” said Laura Sforza, who worked with Sforza Nico in the greenhouse for 10 years. Daily news.
She said Daily news she thinks the family will talk about tearing down the greenhouse and selling the equipment, but that they aren’t ready for that yet.
“The thought of keeping the business open is really too much to bear and this is a decision we fully support,” Sforza told the newspaper. “It’s just too much for anyone in the future.”
Sforza Nico is survived by her husband Diego, whom she married last September, stepchildren Juliana and Vincent, and her two dogs, Daily news reported.
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