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Every day Bloom's day

BY GRACE PATERAS | FEBRUARY 26, 2015 5:00 AM

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Each week, The Daily Iowan will provide an in-depth look at a local business.

Many locals have received a unique and original arrangement of flowers from the Iowa City business Every Bloomin’ Thing.

The flower shop, 2 Rocky Shore Drive, has eight or nine regular workers who create different arrangements of flowers, owner Sanja Hunt said.

She said each designer has an artistic eye that combines color and texture of flowers to create an attractive display.

Though it’s winter, the florists said they are still are dedicated to their work. During the early months of the year, tulips are on sale as part of spring flower specials to decorate home interiors.

“Spring starts at Every Bloomin’ Thing on Jan. 1,” Hunt said. “People get cabin fever … we try to get our customers through the doldrums of January and February by declaring that spring starts early.”

Hunt has owned the shop for 22 years out of the 43 it has been open. Delivery drivers dispatch orders to customers in Iowa City and Coralville, as well as to Hills, Solon, West Branch, North Liberty, and Tiffin.

Florists arrange their displays in an open setting with mint green walls, sunlight shining through the windows — on most days — and flowers surrounding the room.

The flowers used are mostly purchased from a central distribution center in Illinois.

Before Illinois, flowers come from around the country and world, including California, Chile, Colombia, and the Netherlands.

In the summer months, Every Bloomin’ Thing buys flowers from local gardeners, including Ann Franzenburg, the owner of Pheasant Run Farm in Van Horne, Iowa.

During the 2008 flood, 4 feet of water streamed inside and affected the physical building as well as the company’s sales. Hunt and her workers were warned a flood was coming, so they took precautions by transporting goods and equipment to the home of Hunt’s daughter, Maja Hunt.

“It pretty much wiped everything out,” Sanja Hunt said. “We had to start over. We had to get a new cooler, new floors, and the ceilings collapsed. Even though the water didn’t reach the ceiling, the humidity was so heavy in here. It saturated everything, and it just collapsed.”

The flood began in June 2008, and Every Bloomin’ Thing wasn’t back in regular business until October of that year, when the reconstruction was finished.

Meanwhile, coworkers worked in Maja Hunt’s kitchen, but sometimes they had to spread to other rooms in the house.

“One time my mom needed flowers for a wedding, and she put them in my bathtub — [they were in] big buckets,” Maja Hunt said and laughed. “But then she needed me to change out hot water to help the flowers. And then she tried to put flowers in my bedroom, and I stopped her.

“I said, ‘No flowers in my bedroom. I’m sorry. I got to have my own space,’ ” she said.

That summer was a change of pace, but the florists worked to serve the demands of their customers,
“We did it. We made it,” said Maria Wisely, an employee of eight years who has never missed a day of work. “[Coming back] was nice because there was a lot of room, and it was better to move around.”

Employee Fiona Long, who has worked for Every Bloomin’ Thing since this past fall, is a landscaper for small private gardens around Iowa City during the summer months. Every winter for the last few years, she asked Hunt for a job, she said.

Hunt said they did not need the extra set of hands in past years, but this year, it has worked out for both Long and the business.

Since Long has worked at Every Bloomin’ Thing, she’s completed arrangements during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. She said she has the most fun on those fast-paced days.

“If I wasn’t working here, I would have winter depression or something,” Long said. “It’s bright and cheery and positive. It’s just a great atmosphere to work in.”


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