Family-owned floral business opens in Van Buren

10 months ago

VAN BUREN, Maine — Business is blooming in Van Buren, and among the town’s new shops is Floral Boutique on Main. 

The store, a continuation of the recently closed Jim & Jack’s Florist, offers a variety of floral arrangements and gifts on Main Street. 

The business officially opened on July 28, which coincided with the town’s popular Christmas in July festival

Business owner Ashley Medina said the grand opening brought a lot of positive attention to the business.

“There was a lot going on in town already,” she said. “And we got a lot of support from everybody. It was a really good day.”

The business offers home decor in addition to numerous flower arrangements for occasions including weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

She said she and her husband Steven Medina learned of the opportunity to take over the floral business through Town Manager Luke Dyer, who told them Jim Duplessis was about to retire. Jim & Jack’s Florist was in business for more than 40 years, according to Medina. 

Prior to this, Steven Medina had been running his own business, Creative Wood Interiors, for several years. His business is focused on custom cabinetry and furniture, and earlier this year his work earned him a $900 micro grant from the Maine Arts Commission.

Ashley Medina said they wanted to incorporate house plants into Creative Wood Interiors, which is when Dyer suggested that they consider taking over the floral business. 

And while Jim & Jack’s was located at 185 Main St.,Floral Boutique is based at 64 Main St., in what used to be a Federal Housing Authority building.

Duplessis has agreed to come in and train Ashley and her family for an entire year to ease the transition.

“That made us feel better, because it was a little nerve wracking,” Ashley said. “So he’ll be by our side for about a year.”

Ashley and Steven are running the business by themselves, with their two children occasionally helping.

Steven is also taking a three-month break from Creative Wood Interiors to help establish the new business.

His work at the floral shop includes creating a flower bar that showcases some of the shop’s offerings.

“We wanted people to come in and get flowers at their leisure versus what I already have made in the cooler,” Ashley Medina said. “They can pick out what they want themselves and they can either put it together or I can put it together for them.”

One of their upcoming goals is to update the exterior to help show that the business is open.

Steven said his favorite part of the business is interacting with the public and meeting new people. Ashley said that while making arrangements and managing the business can be hard work, the customer’s satisfaction makes it all worth it.

“When people come in and thank you personally, and you see their faces, it’s very touching,” she said. “It means a lot.”

She said that while taking over the business felt a little overwhelming at first, they are all quickly learning the ropes and eager to continue. 

“We’ve really enjoyed it, and we can’t wait to see what it brings us,” Ashley said.