Stop and smell the roses: Local couple opens floral shop in Kent’s shopping center

Stop and smell the roses: Local couple opens floral shop in Kent's shopping center

A ribbon cutting was held Friday, Jan. 26 for Bear River Floral and Gifts, located in the Kent’s grocery store shopping center. Blaine and LeaAnn Potter opened the shop in Novebmer 2017. It was time for a new adventure for Blaine and LeaAnn Potter. Taking her love of the floral business and his recent retirement from Nucor, the couple set out to open their own floral business and are reveling in the success they’re having. Life-long members of the community, the Potters opened up Bear River Floral and Gifts in November 2017. It is located just west of Ace Hardware in a prime spot for customers and for business. “She worked for years for Bowcutts,” said Blaine. “Where she has worked in it, we’ve talked about it for years.” Blaine added that they didn’t want to be competing for business with their friends at Bowcutts and waited until the ownership changed. “I don’t think we would have done it if I hadn’t retired,” Blaine added. “He’s been too much help here to do it without him,” LeaAnn said. “More of a hindrance,” Blaine joked. Blaine helped make the shop what it is now from shelves, tables, counters and walls to just about everything. “I’ve enjoyed that part of it,” Blaine said. “It was all built by hand. My best friend and I built it all. I really enjoyed it.” “It was a lot of work,” LeaAnn added. The Potters can make any floral arrangement, no matter how big or small, for weddings, funerals, school dances (corsages and boutonnieres), as well as holidays including Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Throughout their new location they’ve added merchandise from inspirational signs to stuffed animals for customers to add to their floral arrangement. In addition to fresh arrangements they offer silk arrangements, home décor, custom orders. “Between the four of them there’s well over 50 years of experience,” Blaine said. That experience, with their four floral experts means they have a unique eye for arrangements and they enjoy keeping up with the trends. Following those trends includes trips to flower shows. “These guys are more up on it than I am,” LeaAnn said. “I’m kind of out of the loop for a while.” The Potters employ Maryann May who enjoys the freedom floral designing gives her. “I like to create different things and see what I can do,” Maryann said. “It’s kind of cool.” “I just like the fresh flowers, I don’t know, everything,” LeaAnn added. Every day is different in the floral business and all the employees enjoy working with each other including their part-time helpers and delivery drivers. The Potters have been married for over 40 years and have three sons together. They look forward to what the future has in store for them. “I want us to be the most profitable and most popular floral store in the valley,” Blaine added.