A new florist shop will open in Dover on Jan. 15.
Gerry Cane has made his career in the floral industry. He started out at a funeral home, but when the business was sold he began to help a friend out with deliveries at her florist shop. Soon she was teaching him the tricks of the trade, and Cane moved over to the creative side of the business.
When Cane found himself out of work, he decided to take matters into his own hands, with the help of his business partner Sam Hunmel.
“It’s every designer’s dream to own their own shop,” Cane said.
Much like Cane, Hunmel got her start in the industry out of necessity. The grocery store she was working at closed so she took a job at a flower shop, which she later bought in the ’80s.
With such similar backgrounds and a shared work ethic, Cane and Hunmel say they make a natural team.
“When you’re creative you always have to be doing something,” Cane said. “I’ll get frustrated with designing and walk away, but it always pulls me back.”
“You get burned about around the holidays, but you always stick with it.” Hunmel added.
All Seasons Nursery gave Cane and Hunmel one of their buildings to operate out of until they can put down roots in the community. According to the pair, the people of All Seasons are practically family.
“I worked for them for over 20 years,” Hunmel said. “One of our biggest concerns is being an asset to All Seasons.”
The shop is in a much different state now than when they found it. What used to be a windowless storage shed full of pottery is now a bright, clean shop filled with beautifully arranged flowers, complete with a comfortable seating area for consultations. What Cane and Hunmel have really done with the building is return it to its roots; 40 years ago the same building was a florist shop.
With a number of florist shops already operating in Dover, Hunmel and Cane knew that the Blue Orchid would have to stand out. Their business model reflects that need.
“We offer something a little different from other shops,” Hunmel said. “We want to do good work, offer the same products as others, but with unique service.”
“When someone comes to us to do flowers for a wedding we want to talk to them and help them make sure they get the right flowers,” Cane said. “When we deliver we want to pin the flowers on the mother of the bride and hand out bouquets, we don’t want to just drop and go.”
As far as hopes for the future, the Blue Orchid has the same humble hopes of any new business.
“To grow and excel,” Cane said.
For those who are interested in getting a sneak peak at the Blue Orchid they will be holding an open house Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. They will be serving refreshments and welcoming people to check out the shop.