Fresh bouquets to air on Mill Street
Wheat Fields Floral will be opening their doors as they are relocating to their new location at 312 S. Mill on Wednesday, Sept. 13. They will be celebrating with a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
Andrea (Benedick) LePon has ran her flower shop at 541 Roosevelt Ave. since 2010 when she officially moved back to Beloit.
She graduated from Beloit High School in 1999 before attending Kansas University for several years studying fine arts. LePon started working at Englewood Florists on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, while in college. This was her first of seven jobs in the floral business as she moved around thoughout the years. She has been in the industry for 18 years.
"I certaintly have a lot of experience in different flower shops," said LePon. "From a high end shop in Oregon to smaller HyVee venues in Iowa."
She chose the florists careeer because of her fine arts and great horticultural background with her upbringing.
"I figured it was a good combination for me," she said.
LePon started her floral shop business in Beloit with another good combination at Great Plains Landscape on Roosevelt. Her father Ken and mother, Joyce Benedick, supported her set up until she was able to find what she was looking for.
"I kept hitting dead-ends when looking for a location for my own shop," LePon said. "So the two industries kept working well together until I found this opportunilty. I really want to thank my parents for supporting me on my business. This will probably allow us to enjoy time together more, but I will miss seeing them everyday as well. We will also be attending trade shows together though, as they will upgrade on retail things and ceramic pots for my business."
Andrea is married to LesPaul LePon. They share a son, Brylee together, who is now age eight.
Waleigh LePon, Andrea's father in-law, and her husband LesPaul, owner of Custom Cut Carpentry, started working on the entry way of the new location a year and two months ago.
"They have poured a lot of sweat, time and love into this project and I am overwhelmingly grateful," Andrea LePon said. "I will never be able to fully express all of my gratitude to them for their generosity."
The new, old-time rustic build has been catered to the same time frame that the former Hollaway Wholesale building was built, with details from the early 1900's.
The new location will offer several new ventures but will keep its full service flower shop ideals. They will provide traditional and high style floral arrangements, with a knowledge of house plants. In the new shop, they will be expanding their gift line with some other services added, using a reuse based program with their customers own containers.
"We will have a coupon for customers that bring return vases," said LePon. "It will be an exchange program. We would rather reuse containers instead of constantly buying new. Coupons will vary."
The new shop will provide square footage expansion as it measures 45 feet long and 15 feet wide for the front retail space.
"We will be tripling our space if not more," said LePon.
Wheat Fields Floral will continue to provide special flower arrangements as they celebrate life through helping with funerals, births, anniversaries', birthdays, weddings, special holidays and for just everyday needs.
"The combination of the creativity and working with people of the community is my favorite part of the job," LePon said.
LePon gives a lot of credit as an entrepreneur, to her childhood upbringing and with her parents guidance on running her own business, which employs two full time and two part-time employees.
" I have been blessed with employees throughout my years in Beloit, especially through my health issues going back and fourth to Kansas City for the last three years," said LePon. "I use the word team a lot instead of me and my. It's not just me. I wouldn't be able to do it by myself."
LePon is an artist as well and appreciates the arts. She is working on another part of the building to provide as a gallery in hopes of displaying work from local artist. A minature train set in the back room is planned as well with a possible 2018 Christmas opening.
As for now, Wheat Fields Floral will reopen with continued smiles and smells of floral arrangements galore. Orders can be called in to the shop at 785-738-6551. They offer a wire service that allows individuals to order nationwide and also provide a friendly website at www.wheatfieldsfloral.net
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