Ground Floor: Blooming Acres blooms in new location

Opened in new location in downtown Mount Vernon

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By Katie Mills Giorgio, correspondent

MOUNT VERNON — Since last July, Becka Owen, owner of Blooming Acres Florist, has worked on custom flower arrangements in a bright and fragrant corner of the First Street Community Center.

“The hardest part has been getting the word out that we are here,” Owen said of her the location. “People think that because we closed our other location that we closed altogether.”

The business formerly was located just north of town on Highway 1 and offered mostly bedding plants grown in Owen’s own greenhouse.

But with two growing daughters with whom she wished to spend more time, Owen decided to downsize a bit.

“It was important to me to share what I was doing with my daughters, so we garden at home now,” she said.

Owen moved her greenhouse to her acreage near Mount Vernon, which has allowed expansion of her cut flower production.

“Our goal is for six or seven months out of the year to be using 80 to 90 percent of our own cuts in the shop,” she said. “And it’s nice to continue growing at home. That’s really where my heart is.”

Being in the new space has given Owen the chance to host classes — from basic flower arranging to chalk painting and basket weaving, a longtime hobby.

“These classes wouldn’t have happened in our old location,” she said, “and it’s very exciting.”

The move also allowed Owen to redefine what, besides flowers, she would offer in her shop.

“My big focus when I moved here was thinking very carefully about what items I wanted to carry and I’m really proud to offer Iowa-made products,” she said.

She also has started doing candy bouquets, which have been very popular with local students.

“One of the best things about what I do is all the people I have met and friends I have made,” Owen said. “We sometimes have customers call and tell us the bouquet we made lasted for two or three weeks. We just love when people call us and we are able to get to know our customers.”

Owen, who has a horticulture degree from Iowa State University, has worked in the floral industry for many years but never intended to owner a flower shop.

“My background is in greenhouse production but a flower shop kept popping into my life. Through the process of owning this business I’ve had to learn it all.”

“And I love the change of small business work,” Owen added. “You don’t do the same thing every day. I love the change in seasons and the different flowers we get to work with. It never gets boring.”

AT A GLANCE

Name: Becka Owen

Title: Owner

Company: Blooming Acres Florist

Address: 221 First St. NE, Mount Vernon

Phone: (319) 895-6077

Website: www.bloomingacresflorist.com/

Know a company in business for more than a year that would make an ideal My Biz? Contact Francie Williamson at francie.williamson@thegazette.com

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