An accountant said this flower shop would never make it. Now turning 100, ‘It’s a way of life.’

DARIEN — At 6:30 a.m., Mickey Doyle is in his shop thinking about the day’s flower orders. He’ll leave around 7:30 p.m. at night.

For seven days of the week, rinse and repeat.

At 82 years old, Doyle has a few ideas about when he will retire.

“When I’m 102,” he said with a grin. Alternatively: “When I don’t wake up.”

Running Springdale Florist and Greenhouses on the Stamford-Darien border has required that sort of unending commitment from Doyle for the past six decades.

In January, the store will celebrate 100 years in business. As one of the oldest florists in the area, Springdale has a full roster of devoted customers, some of whom have shopped at Springdale for generations. It has stayed afloat as a neighborhood business even as the florist industry entered an era of Internet-driven sales and rising costs.

Forget the fancy stuff, Doyle says: At the core of the store’s enduring success is hard work, attention to detail and keen love for people.

He doesn’t lose sight of the mission, either. Florists serve as envoys, he said.

“You send a flower to somebody — ‘I love you.’ You send another flower to somebody — ‘I’m sorry you had a loss,’” Doyle said. “So we’re messengers. Mess up the message, we’re in trouble.”

“It has its headaches, like anything else,” he added. “But our hearts are in it. I like people, I like what I do ... it’s a way of life.”

And it beats the restaurant business, he said.

The store itself has become a repository of history. The original sign for the store, circa 1922, is mounted behind the counter. Photos of friends and former employees cram the walls.

One wall is a dedicated “heroes’ corner,” with mementos of people who served in the military. Stamford local Brian Bill, a Navy Seal who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, is featured prominently. Bill began working at Springdale in 1995 as a high-schooler, forming a close friendship with Doyle.

Doyle said he still feels that loss keenly.

“Somehow, when they start working here, they become part of the family,” Doyle said. Former employees, many teenagers when they worked at Springdale, have gone on to become Navy pilots, surgeons, lawyers.

“Amazing people have passed through,” he said.

Doyle has been involved with Springdale for nearly all his life. He lived in Darien briefly as a child, then moved with his mother to his maternal grandparents’ house in Stamford.

His grandfather began working for the original store’s owner, Alex Cant Sr., as a commercial grower in 1932. Doyle joined him in 1956, later becoming a full-time employee and then partnering with Cant’s son before purchasing the shop in 1973.

Early years of Doyle’s ownership were marked with financial struggles. At one point, an accountant told him the shop would never make it.

“I didn’t have two nickels to rub together,” Doyle said. That changed when a banker showed up and after an hour’s discussion, offered Doyle a $50,000 loan. From then on, Doyle said, the store has managed to overcome its fair share of threats to its existence.

Along the way, Doyle has collected a host of civic awards for his extensive involvement in local veterans’ groups. He has donated tens of thousands of roses to local cancer patients. There’s a day in Stamford named after him, and he’s been grand marshal of parades both in Darien and Stamford.

It’s part of the commitment he’s made to the people around him, he said.

“That’s why I always push for small business,” Doyle said. “They give back to the community. When they get hit, it hurts me.”

He remembers a time when 12 florists serviced Stamford. That number has sharply dwindled. It’s the Internet and the way it goes, he said. A Google search shows fewer than five florists still open in the area.

To stay on top, Springdale has diversified its services: taking orders for floral arrangements, servicing funerals and weddings, supplying flowers to local country clubs and maintaining plants at Stamford Hospital. There’s also a propane station on the property, Doyle said.

There’s some question of who can guide Doyle’s Springdale into the next century.

His eldest son, Tom Doyle, functions as co-captain right now and manages much of the operation. Following Tom, the next successor would also have to be highly committed, with moral beliefs that line up with Doyle’s, he said.

Doyle is old school: honesty is key. And you have to love people. It takes a certain work ethic to keep a shop open for 100 years, Doyle said.

He has purchased two funeral plots across the street, at a neighboring cemetery — one for him, one for his wife — so he can oversee the business even when he’s gone. His wife thinks the idea “is nuts,” according to Doyle.

But after six decades of constant vigilance, old habits die hard.

“If somebody gets this place and they’re not nice, they’re in trouble,” Doyle said. Let this serve as a warning: “Doors are gonna rattle. And windows are gonna break.”

raga.justin@hearst.com