It’s the day after Valentine and the shop is trying to recover from the busiest day of the year. The whole staff has worked very hard the last week preparing for V-Day and it appears to have been a great success. Pam & I want to thank all of our loyal customers for their business and for being part of the Wylie family. Wylie has grown greatly the last 10 years but it’s citizens carry the small town attitudes and values that make living in Wylie so fulfilling.
Thinking of how Wylie has grown, Monday while I was in the delivery area, I looked over at our original flower cooler and it triggered memories of how Wylie Flower Shop had grown. In fact, our coolers are like a timeline (facebook users are getting real familiar with that term) of Wylie Flower & Gift Shop.
When Pam & I bought the shop in 1994 from her parents, there was one brown wooden flower cooler about 8’L x 6′ W x 6′ H. A couple of years ago when I was putting a memories dvd for Martha & Bobby’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party, I came across a picture of Bobby King holding Pam (at about 2 years old) in his arms in front of that same brown flower cooler. That was about 1966 or so and I don’t know how long they had had the cooler at that point..
At some point before 1994, Bobby had added a cooler unit to the old bank vault (yes, the shop building was once a bank, a butcher, general store, etc..) inside the flower shop for use during the busier days and also added two reach-in showroom coolers.
Back to present time, next to the brown coolers, is a white cooler that is about 10’L x 6’W x 6’H. The white cooler was added in the late 1990’s and the white cooler was placed along side the wooden cooler near the cash register. Business had been growing and we were having to use our wedding chapel at valentine’s for overflow. The candle store fire of 1999 destroyed the wedding chapel and when we rebuilt, we decided to extend our gift shop.
Growing right along with Wylie, in around 2000 we added our large showroom cooler that is approximately 20’L x 8’W x 8’H. and moved the brown and white coolers to the delivery area. Wylie kept growing and since we no longer had our wedding chapel for overflow, we rented POD’s, refrigerated trucks, or refrigerated semi-trailers during the busy valentine season. Neither the semi-trailers or the refrigerated trucks had ramps, so we made make shift stairs. The staff (myself included) climbed those stairs tens of thousands of times retrieving flowers and storing arrangements for delivery.
After years of planning, in 2007 we added a large flower cooler and processing room onto the back of the shop that is 32’L x 12’W x 8′-10’H. During Valentine & Mother’s Day it serves as refrigerated flower & delivery storage, then during Fall, it is transformed into the Homecoming Showroom. The rest of year it is used for weddings, overflow, and storage.
Marilyn Hargrove came to work at our shop as a teenager and as teenagers often do, they leave and come back only to leave again. Well, Marilyn is now 29 years old and now works part-time at the shop during the peak periods. She made the comment today that she tells everyone that when she started to work at Wylie Flower Shop, “they only had one flower cooler” and “this was her 14th Valentine to work at Wylie Flower Shop”.
Funny how things we come in contact with everyday and don’t give a second thought, are a reflection on you, your family, your history. In this case, a set of flower coolers of all different sizes are a reflection on the growth of Wylie and the Wylie Flower & Gift Shop.
Thanks for reading,