Larry Zona, owner of Bloomingfield’s Florist, is pleased with the new location he found for his shop on the western edge of Orland Park.
With big windows, more than 4,400 square feet and good visibility from the street, Zona is hopeful business will continue to pick up at the store – located at 11229 W. 143rd Street, just west of Wolf Road – as more people discover it.
But he still feels brokenhearted about being his former location in Orland Plaza, where he said he found great success over the past seven years.
The plaza is currently being demolished to make room for the village's .
“It was hard for me because I did such good business (there),” Zona said, adding that customers who visited , Lang Lee Restaurant or would often walk over to his store. “If my business really wasn’t doing too good there I would have probably said that, ‘well, you know, maybe its all for a reason.’ But I didn’t have that feeling.”
Still, Zona is trying to make the best out of what he feels is a bad situation. He was able to move into the new location about a week after closing his Orland Plaza store, and officially opened on March 25.
The shop’s feel and much of the merchandise – which ranges from jewelry and candles to angel statues and, of course, a wide variety of flowers – is still the same, he said.
“The way we work our store, compared to other florists, I think it just has a real nice feel and appeal,” Zona said, adding that he still has a lot of the same customers, but many of them now do phone orders instead of coming in. “You want a nice vibe for the customer, whether you’re waiting on somebody for a wedding, a funeral, just any occasion.”
Memory blocks by Canadian artist Sid Dickens are one unique line of products Zona keeps in stock. He said the 6- by 8-inch hand-crafted plaster wall plaques – whose designs are inspired by music, religion, flowers and more – are popular with interior designers and collectors from as far away as Michigan.
Bloomingfield’s also specializes in unique Halloween and Christmas decorations, and offers some interior decorating services.
One big change Zona has faced since moving is demand for different products. For example, he finds that now there are many more mothers coming into the store with young children who want stuffed animals, so those now need to be stocked. All the holidays that have occurred since he moved – including Easter, Mother’s Day and proms – have brought good business, even though some of it came as a surprise, again because of the different demographic.
“They were all very, very good,” Zona said. “In fact, proms were way more successful because I think that there could be a lot of younger kids more out in this area.”
New customers from Lemont and Homer Glen driving by – who might not have stopped at the store otherwise – also have been a good change for Zona.
“There’s a lot of potential,” he said about his store’s success in the new location. “It’s just going to take a little while.”
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