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Evansville Floral centennial event set

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Jim Leute
September 14, 2012

— Rose Helms has a simple answer for those asking how her business reached its 100th anniversary.

"We have a very loyal, dedicated base of customers," said Helms, who owns Evansville Floral, 9 W. Main St.

Evansville Floral will celebrate its milestone and its customers on Saturday.

"There aren't too many businesses in Evansville that have made it 100 years," said Helms, who bought the business in 2008 with her husband, Jim.

In fact, there are fewer than a handful, according to the Evansville Grove Society.

In its early days, the business was known as Evansville Greenhouse and Floral. Because of their inefficiencies, the greenhouses went away decades ago, and the business moved from a residential district to Main Street.

Helms said another secret to her business' longevity is a reoccurring demand for flowers and plants for special occasions.

"There's always a need, but it's certainly been affected by the economy," said Helms, who runs the operation with the help of her husband, children and four staff members. "People used to send flowers for birthdays or for get-well wishes, but that doesn't happen as much anymore.

"Floral shops have had to get more creative with hours, use of staff time and the owners are becoming more involved."

The Internet has both helped and hurt the business, she said. While she routinely fills orders from around the country for local delivery, she's seen people have troubles with outgoing Internet orders.

"Some of these companies don't even know how to spell the names of the flowers they are ordering," Helms said. "I keep detailed records of my customers' orders so I know what kind of service they get.

"I can tell them if their order to California is being filled by a grocery store."

Saturday's celebration will include hourly drawings and behind-the-scenes tours.

"We love what we do, and we don't mind showing it off," Helms said. "We want people to know what we do and how we do it, how we process flowers and plants and how the Internet system works."



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