–with an invitation to an Open House Party

 By Michelle Frost

Tracy Kimberling, manager of Grand Ave Floral, began her career in flowers as early as high school.

Back row from left: Carissa, Jim, Sharon, Tracy, in front Kristi and Zoe the dog.

Back row from left: Carissa, Jim, Sharon, Tracy, in front Kristi and Zoe the dog.

While still a student at Grant High School, Kimberling remembers taking the bus after classes to work in her parents’  flower shop.  Her mother, Sharon Larson, and stepfather, Jim Fisher, opened for business on March 13, 1985.

Grand Ave Floral began in the historic Weatherly Building on Grand Ave. and Morrison St..  They ended up moving within the building to the Morrison St. side and stayed for about a decade.

They then relocated to the Lloyd district, still on Grand Ave, for another decade until the owner sold the building. They’ve been at their current location for nine years, and although they are no longer located there, after 21 years in business on Grand Avenue, they’ve kept their original name.

Zoe the shop dog, a friendly, spry Weimaraner, is the official greeter. In addition to Zoe, ten employees keep the business running smoothly (not counting the friends and family who are called in as reinforcements during busy holidays).

Delivery drivers on a typical day will deliver 30 bouquets, “and then we have lots of walk-in customers,” Kimberling says.  “We really appreciate the support of our local businesses, and how many referrals we get from local businesses.”

Grand Ave Floral serves a large delivery area including Happy Valley, Clackamas, and Milwaukie, “We do it all,” she says with a sweeping arm.  Kimberling lives in the Happy Valley area and hopes to open a second store in that locale in the near future.

After 30 years of peddling flowers, one flower might stand out as a favorite or the most popular.  “It really depends on the season,” she explains.

“With spring coming up, we get requests for tulips and with winter, it’s all the winter whites.”

When asked to describe a memorable flower delivery, Kimberling relayed a recent event.

A company that orders flowers from her regularly celebrates their anniversary every year with a Sweetheart’s Ball and orders all of the flowers for their event from Grand Ave Floral.

This year, the anniversary party happened on Valentine’s Day, the busiest day of the year for any florist. Kimberling recalls being in the ballroom at 7:30 am on Valentine’s morning, delivering centerpieces and enjoying how quiet it was while she decorated the room, “knowing what was going on back at the shop,” she smiled.

She enjoyed what a special day it was for this company and what loyal customers they have been for years.

Considering how popular online shopping has become, Grand Ave Floral is looking to enhance their internet presence with a focus on their website, social media, and phone apps for easier shopping in the future as online orders make up a growing number of their daily transactions.

“You have to use the internet if you want to stay in business, if you want to grow,” Kimberling says, even in the business of flowers.

Grand Ave Floral is inviting the community to their 30th Anniversary party Friday, March 13. Hors d’oeuvres and libations will be served, and since 1985 is the year they opened their doors for business, they will be offering 1985 prices for the day.

“We’ll have our cooler stocked with flowers priced for 1985,” Kimberling says.

Everyone is welcome to join them in celebrating 30 years of business now just east of Grand Ave. Doors open at 7:30 am and the party commences at 5:30 pm.

 

Grand Ave Floral is at 1416 SE 8th, corner of Madison and 8th St. /503.234.7673