Oak Brook Flower Shop News
Brookfield florist marks 20th anniversary | Articles | News - Riverside Brookfield LandmarkMonday, December 17, 2018
It was a fast 20 years," said LeClere. The impetus to start her career as a retail florist had its roots in Osco's decision in 1998 to move its corporate office from Oak Brook to Salt Lake City. With a move to Utah out of the question, LeClere took advantage of Osco's policy of paying tuition for employees who wanted to further their educations. She signed up to attend the American Floral Art School in Chicago and got hands-on experience working at a flower shop in Berwyn. One year later, she and her husband Paul took the leap, buying the former Ardon's Flower Shop on Broadway Avenue. LeClere said she had eyed a store in Western Springs but was convinced by her husband that Brookfield was the right place for the new family business. After all, the LeCleres had lived in the village for almost 30 years at the time. Paul, who died in 2009, worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad and served as a village trustee. They also scouted locations on Ogden Avenue but found a home instead near Eight Corners. "I like the area," LeClere said of her business' longtime home. "Ogden Avenue wasn't as warm a feeling as we have over here." At first, business wasn't driven so much by flowers as it was by Beanie Babies, which were a phenomenon at the time. "I told Paul, 'I don't think I'll ever sell flowers,'" LeClere said of the store's early days. But the Beanie Baby craze waned and the flower shop's customer base began to grow, thanks in large part to word of mouth and connections the store made through family and friends. "You've got to tal... http://www.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/12-4-2018/Brookfield-florist-marks-20th-anniversary/
Everyone's favorite bloodthirsty plant arrives at Cutting Hall - Chicago TribuneTuesday, October 10, 2017
This is the first time that Music On Stage Artistic Director Frank Roberts has directed "Little Shop of Horrors," but he understudied the role of Mushnik and did props for a production at Drury Lane Oak Brook several years ago.Roberts praised the show, saying, "There's so much going on. It's very much a throwback to the campy shows of the '60s, yet there's a very honest story to it, too. Skid Row florist worker, very shy, very much into his plants — they're probably the only friend he has. He's secretly in love with his co-worker Audrey. And then, all of a sudden, there's this plant from another world that takes over the shop and takes over the world. It's a fun, fun show."The director also praised the '60s sound of the music and the Street Urchins, a trio that sings a number of the songs and comments on the action of the play. "They're kind of like a Greek chorus," Roberts said. "And, of course, the scenes with the plant are hysterical. Where are you going to find a 4-foot-tall plant that talks."Music On Stage presents, 'Little Shop of Horrors'When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 14-29Where: Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St., PalatineTickets: $20 adults, $18 children and seniors, in advance; $23 and $20 at the doorInformation: 847-202-5222; www.cuttinghall.org... http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-zurich/news/ct-bcr-go-little-shop-of-horrors-tl-1012-20171010-story.html
Flower business blooms for generations - Chicago TribuneTuesday, December 13, 2016
So I'm just kind of blank on that one. You know, every city or village is a little different. We are in nine towns, eight flower shops, a main floral design center and a plant operation in Oak Brook. They are all different, but they are all similar."When is your busiest time of year? "Traditionally, December is the biggest month, Mother's Day the biggest week, and Valentine's the biggest couple of days, but with birthdays, new babies, weddings, special events and funerals, we florists stay busy all year long. Flowers are just such a vital part of so many important occasions."What is the most popular product you sell? "At our stores, the top sellers are roses, take-with bouquets, custom arrangements for every occasion, and local wedding flowers. At our headquarters in Westmont, we focus on even larger weddings and events. We also design family funeral flower tributes for many of Chicagoland's finer funeral homes."What is the thing you most like to do as part of your business? "We love working with our customers and delighting them with beautiful fresh flowers, creative designs and the personal service that only a real local florist can provide."What is your least favorite service to provide? "If it involves flowers and serving our customers, we love it."What is the best thing about owning your own business? "The sense of accomplishment and the positive impact we can have on our customers, employees and local community."What is the biggest downside to owning your business? "The paperwork."Tell us about the most memorable customer you had and what made them so. "Over the years, we've been honored to provide flowers for celebrities, dignitaries and several U.S. presidents, but one of our more memorable accomplishments was decorating the dais for the pope's visit in Grant Park with about 18,000 blooming plants, provided at cost, with the help of volunteers. It was a truly beautiful expression of support for such a historic and meaningful occasion."What is the biggest misconception about your business? "People think of the flower business as just designing flowers, but it's also about sourcing, staffing, computerization, delivery logistics and a host of other critical details. For example, we import fresh flowers direct from dozens of different suppliers in multiple countries, and we deliver daily to the city and over 150 suburbs. It's all about the details."How would you describe your business philosophy? "Our business is built on hard work, family togetherness and knowing that our most important customer is the next one who walks in the door, calls on the phone or orders with us online."If you weren't doing this, what line of work would you be in? "Well, for most of our active family members, it was a fairly clear-cut path (into the business). I came through a secondary route, music in Nashville, and then real estate investment marketing in Louisville (Ky.). But it's not as eventful as it sounds. Once I got married and had kids, I decided it was time to settle down and come home. Our youngest member right now has an engineering degree, and he worked for an aviation company. Now he's one of our buyers, and he managed a couple of our stores. And he found he had the same gene as my grandfather — he's quite a good designer."When it comes time to retire, is there a family member who will be taking over for you? "Fortunately, we have three generations of family members already active in the busines... http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-business-phillips-flowers-st-1211-20161209-story.html
America in Bloom judges coming to Mansfield - Mansfield News JournalTuesday, July 23, 2019
Awards will be announced Oct. 3-5 at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards Celebration, this year in St. Charles, Illinois. America in Bloom 2018: Judges see flowers, historic sites, more email@example.com 419-521-7223 Twitter: @LWhitmir... https://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/2019/07/22/america-bloom-judges-coming-downtown-mansfield/1793243001/
Capital - Why are flowers so expensive? - BBC NewsTuesday, May 21, 2019
Jeanie McKewan, who has been growing flowers for 13 years in the US states of Illinois and Wisconsin, points to insect damage as a big challenge, saying there’s a “zero tolerance” policy: “It is through constant vigilance and the use of integrated pest management that we keep the little buggers from getting the best of our crops,” she says.Then the flowers have to bloom on schedule. In the case of Mother’s Day tulips planted in January or February, they have to bloom by early May in time to be picked and shipped.Labour costs are already high – according to the 2012 US Agricultural Census, contract and hired labour accounted for 10% of total agricultural operating expenses in the US, but that number soared to 40% for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production because of a tighter farm labour market and rising wages. Then you add extra costs for peaks.McKewan hires extra hands during peak periods but says cutting flowers “requires experience and cannot be done by just any part-time employee”. Chris Drummond, a Philadelphia-based florist, says wages average around $13.25 (£10.16) per hour in the US. “In order to ramp up production to meet holiday demand, growers are required to pay far above that average,” he says.In developed countries like the Netherlands or Germany, Stewart says that there are greenhouses with automated technology like sophisticated watering machines or robot transplanters and harvesters, where fewer workers are needed. But in poorer nations with cheaper labour, there’s less use of technology. Then it’s time for shipping. While flowers are waiting on the runway or in the back of a lorry, temperatures can’t be too cold (for Valentine’s Day) or too hot (for Mother’s Day). When they arrive at the wholesaler, they must look perfect. That means no bug bites, no missing petals, no dead buds. Otherwise, they get thrown away. “It has to be flawless,” Stewart says.Complicated logisticsChris Drummond, the florist, estimates that the holiday volume “is usually nearly 20 times the everyday volume”. He says many farmers nurture flowers all year long to ensure enough blooms for the handful of holidays. During the other months on the farm, he says, flowers are sold at cost, below cost or discarded and turned into mulch.“So, of course farm price increases as demand increases,” he says. “Consumers are paying a premium to make sure that grower is compensated for their expense and effort to maintain the plants year-round, thus ensuring the wide variety of flowers is available at each holiday.”He highlights costs across the supply chain, saying industry participants must “rent temporary space, pay fuel surcharges, find space on airlines, hire independent drivers, find more refrigerated trucks, pay overtime to staff” and more. Roses flown from Bogota to Miami are hit with a 15-cent (£0.12) importer’s fee to clear customs and inspection. Domestic refrigerated shipping can vary, but that’s another eight cents (£0.06) per rose.It also depends on what kind of flower you’re shipping – Drummond says 300 carnations can fit into the same box as 150 roses, so the transport price per stem is halved. Transit time from field to florist can be up to a week (though it can wildly vary depending on where the flowers are coming from), and the blooms must be carefully handled every step of the way.Hans Larsen is a cut flower grower in the US s... http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190507-why-are-flowers-so-expensive
Food flowers - Illinois TimesThursday, May 02, 2019
Do not eat any plant if you’re not totally sure what it is, and ask an expert like the folks at University of Illinois Extension Service if you have any questions. Some flowers, like daylily (which are in a different plant family than the toxic true lilies) can act as a diuretic and should be eaten in moderation. Make sure that the flowers you eat or cook with have not been sprayed or treated, and never eat roadside flowers or those purchased from a florist. Flower jelly 2-3 cups loosely packed flower petals, such as violet, rose, sunflower, dandelion or nasturtium. (Be sure to pinch off only the petals and discard the base of the flower, as it can give the jelly a bitter taste.) Juice of one lemon2 ½ cups boiling water 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin (you can certainly use a different kind of pectin, but you may need to adjust the recipe method according to the package directions) 3 ½ cups sugar Sort through the flower petals and rinse them gently under running water to remove any dirt or bugs. Place the flower petals in a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let the flower “tea” steep for at least two hours or overnight. Prepare a water bath canner and have ready six half-pint jars with new lids and bands. After the mixture has steeped, strain it through a fine meshed sieve into a nonreactive saucepan and discard the flower solids. Add the lemon juice (this may cause the color of your tea to brighten or change hue). Slowly stir in the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then add all the sugar at once. Stirring continuously, return to a boil and cook for one minute. Ladle the hot mixture into the clean, hot jars. Wipe the rim of the jars, then place a lid on top and gently screw on the band (do not put it on super tight). Process in the water bath for five minutes, then remove from the water and set out onto a towel to cool overnight. As the jars cool you should hear an occasional “pop” coming from the jars, indicating a good seal has been achieved. *for rose jelly, add a tablespoon of rose water to the rose petal tea to enhance flavor **add a ½ tablespoon or so of crushed red pepper flakes to nasturtium jelly for savory kick Ashley Meyer is a Springfield-based food writer, cook and avid gardener. https://illinoistimes.com/article-21169-food-flowers.html
Brighton florist achieves title of certified designer - AdVantageNEWS.comThursday, May 02, 2019
Leanne Muenstermann, owner of Leanne’s Pretty Petals in Brighton, has earned the title of Illinois certified designer during the Illinois State Floral Association’s annual floral design show March 14-18 in Champaign, Ill.
She was assessed in theoretical knowledge of advanced design styles and techniques. She was required to create three “advanced design” arrangements during a timed test.
Internationally recognized floral industry professionals evaluated these advanced designs. Muenstermann is one of only five florists in Illinois to earn this accreditation.
She earned her title of Illinois certified professional florist during last year’s annual floral design show. She is one of 58 florists in the state to earn this distinction. She is working toward her national certified floral designer accreditation through the internationally recognized American Institute of Floral Designers.
To maintain the Illinois certified designer accreditation, the designer must continue to accumulate continuing education credits each year and maintain his or her membership in the ISFA and ICP... https://advantagenews.com/news/business/brighton-florist-achieves-title-of-certified-designer/