ORIGINALLY WRITTEN LAURA CAMPBELL
You can’t get donuts or coffee there anymore, but Brenda McGinness thinks you’ll still be in for a treat when you stop by the downtown storefront that houses her new Brenda’s Bloomers and Gifts in Hillsboro.
Formerly the long-time home to Daylight Donuts, the newly renovated space at 111 W. Grand now sports pumpkin-colored walls and a cornucopia of items for a new season of gift-giving.
McGinness hopes that this fall, you’ll make the full-service flower and gift shop your home away from home.
“I just want people to feel like they’re at home, that they’re welcome here,” McGinness said.
“We want them to feel free to come in and just look around-if they have half an hour to kill for lunch break, they can come in and they will always get good customer service.”
And like her shop of the same name that bloomed almost exactly a year ago on Marion’s Main Street, Brenda’s Bloomers boasts a variety of housewares and decorating items that you can take back to your real home-or purchase as a present for someone else’s.
“We have a lot of really nice home decor items-place mats, dinnerware and flatware,” McGinness said.
Two lines of candles-Colonial at HOME candles and Longcreek soy candles-have also proven popular gift choices, she added.
And of course, there are the flowers.
As a certified florist for more than a year and a half, McGinness is working with part-time florist Fern Bartel to keep everything coming up roses-and daisies and carnations-in Hillsboro now that Prairie Flower and Garden Shop is no more.
With same-day service six days a week and delivery throughout Marion County, Brenda’s Bloomers offers flowers, balloons, candy and cards for any occasion.
“We do weddings, funerals, birthdays, any occasion,” McGinness said. “We have a large assortment of different flowers, so we can do just about whatever anybody wants.”
Open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, the shop accepts cash, checks and major credit cards.
Customers also can take advantage of her cash-and-carry service, McGinness said.
“You come in, we’ve got things made up, you can go,” she said.
FTD and Teleflora wire service make it possible for the shop to send and receive flower orders anywhere in the world.
And for now, delivery in Hillsboro is free.
McGinness will soon add a couple more services that have proven a bloomin’ success in Marion.
On Five-Dollar Flower Fridays, customers will be able to pick up a bunch of fresh flowers for $5.
And with the customer rewards card offered to them after their first purchase, they can get a 10 percent discount on subsequent purchases of $15 or more.
In addition to her fresh-cut flowers, McGinness also offers a selection of blooming plants and silk-flower arrangements.
McGinness stressed the full-service aspect of her flower shop: customers can reach her at 620-947-2800 in Hillsboro or 620-382-2525 in Marion during business hours and at 382-2975 for emergency service during evenings and weekends.
“I just want people to know that we’re here to help them,” she said. “My motto is ‘where service and a smile are always in style.'”
Hillsboro resident Pam Riesen will help McGinness provide that service and smile in the Hillsboro shop, as will Marion employees Twylah Nightingale, JoAnna Schwartz and Mary Lou Phillips.
“Most of them we’re going to float,” McGinness said of her employees. “Wherever we need help, that’s where they’re going to be working.”
Already, McGinness said she knows branching out to Hillsboro was a wise idea-even if not originally her own.
“I felt that’s what the Lord wanted me to do-He just kept opening the doors,” she said.
“It’s been a really good move.”