CALUMET - There's something exceptionally special about the gift of flowers.
"They simply put a smile on everybody's face," Sandy Johnson said. "Each flower is so different. They brighten everybody's day."
For the past 22 years, Sandy has owned Calumet Floral & Gifts, located at 221 Fifth St. in Calumet. Her shop offers fresh flowers of all varieties as well as gifts for any occasion.
Calumet Floral & Gifts owner Sandy Johnson, center, stands with employees Darlene Ryding, left, and Amy Knight. Sandy has owned the business for the past 22 years.
"We specialize in listening to our customers and what they want," she said. "We always accommodate whatever budget you have."
In addition to fresh flowers, Sandy said they carry green plants, home dcor, silk flowers, bird houses, tropical arrangements, greeting cards, balloons, candles and more.
Custom arrangements can be created using items customers bring to the shop, too.
"We have people who bring us swatches of materials and paint swatches," Sandy said. "We encourage customers, if they have vases or containers they want us to use, to bring those in to save on that cost so they can get more flowers."
The shop's large inventory of fresh flowers is always changing. The delivery truck arrives four days a week, which allows for special orders to be made.
Or customers can browse the bouquets that are prearranged in the coolers.
"You can come in and pick out what you like," Sandy said. "Or you can call ahead and let us know what the occasion is, whether they have special colors or a special flower they want."
Sandy and her staff of seasoned florists specialize in personalizing arrangements according to the receiver's hobbies and interests. Say, for example, the arrangement is for someone who enjoys fishing. They can incorporate items like small fishing poles.
Calumet Floral & Gifts offers complete floral services for weddings, funerals, proms, corporate dinners, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays, among other special occasions.
"For funerals, we can do arrangements for the service and the home, whatever they prefer," she said. "Personally, I've lived through losing a husband at a young age. I can understand what my customers have gone through and the grief process that everyone has to go through at one time or another in their life and I try to help them with that."
Having been in business for the past 22 years, Sandy has developed close friendships with a number of her customers. Many of them drop in when they're out and about.
"A lot of them come in just to say hello," she said. "It's really nice."
While Sandy can service occasions of all sorts, her favorite happens to be weddings.
She is hands-on when it comes to that special day, personally delivering items to the church, placing pew bows, pinning corsages and boutonnires, and showing the bridesmaids how to properly carry their bouquets.
"As soon as they're down the aisle, I leave and go to the reception area to do what needs to be done there," she said. "We do both outdoor weddings and the traditional church service."
Customers are welcome to use their own garden flowers for an arrangement or wedding service, Sandy said, however they must know how to cut and preserve them.
Sandy said she can advise customers on proper handling and processing of their own flowers.
The shop also has master gardener, Darlene Ryding, on hand.
"A lot of us have been here for many years," Sandy said. "Melissa Goulette, she's been here longer than I have. Then we have Ethel Moyle and Jamie Rowe who answer the phones and wait on our special customers. We have a lot of expertise."
When asked what makes flowers a unique gift, employee Amy Knight said, "They add a little touch of beauty no matter how ugly the day is."
Sandy said she is grateful to Main Street Calumet for its downtown window decorating contest during Christmas, of which Calumet Floral & Gifts took first place.
"That's how I got this story," she said, noting health issues prevented her from running the article sooner. "Between Main Street Calumet and The (Daily Mining) Gazette, I appreciate this form of advertising."
Sandy is proud to mention Calumet Floral & Gifts was also voted the number one florist by readers of The Daily Mining Gazette.
Calumet Floral & Gifts is an authorized FTD and Teleflora florist.
Delivery services and gift certificates are available. Walk-in orders are welcome and online orders can be made at calumetfloral.com.
Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call Calumet Floral & Gifts at 337-1711 or toll free at (800) 859-3025.