Blooming Branches celebrates 10 years

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Blooming Branches will mark 10 successful years in business with a celebration on April 9. From left are Nancy Schroeder and Linda Ludovissy who have been working side-by-side for the past 14 years. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Blooming Branches, located at 511 South First Street in Guttenberg, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. A variety of specialty food and drinks items will available that day as well as in-store specials and a free gift for each valued customer. "Stop in, have a drink and a bite to eat and see our new spring line of products," said Linda Ludovissy and Nancy Schroeder Blooming Branches co-owners. 

The businesswomen have known one another since Nancy was a young girl. "I used to work with Nancy's older sister at Mackey's Super Valu. Nancy's mother was ill at the time and her sister, Carol, would bring Nancy and her littler sister, Bonnie, to work with her," Linda remembers. 

"We used to sit in the back room and color and paint with watercolors," Nancy added with a smile. 

Linda was a Home Interior design and direct sales person for 30 years prior to working in the floral industry. "Becky Moser, Kim Moser and I owned 'Our Favorite Things' on Herder Street from 2006-2008. Jim and Becky Moser bought Village Green in 2008 and I went to work there," she explained. "Where Nancy was already working for the previous owner, the late Deb Stirn as a florist. She had prior experience working at Nancy's Riverside Floral, giving her 17 years floral experience. I had a lot of experience putting together floral arrangements using artificial flowers so had the design knowledge, but it took some getting used to working with flowers that I couldn't bend and manipulate." 

Things have changed throughout the years in the floral design. "Every day presents a new learning experience," Nancy noted. "You never know what you are going to get into. For example we used to tape and wire corsages together and now we use floral glue, which is less time consuming and more efficient." 

Funeral flower designs have become more attractive. "Funeral bouquets have become more personalized," Linda told The Press. "Funeral flowers in the past were easily identified as that. Now we design them to look more natural so family members can take them home and enjoy them if they wish." 

Pinterest has had a positive effect on the wedding industry. "Brides used to come in and look at sample bouquets in books. Now they come to us with a variety of creative ideas they found on Pinterest, which is nice, but can sometimes be a challenge. We still attend floral workshops and training to keep up with the latest trends," Nancy commented. 

"Most brides are using fresh flowers. They photograph better and look better. There are artificial flowers that look nice but are equal in price, so most choose fresh. We order our flowers from Bonnett of Milan, Ill. They deliver every day of the week but Sunday," Linda added. 

Blooming Branches also sells home décor, boutique clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories, a bath and body line, bereavement gifts, gourmet foods and dips, specialty coffee and wine mixes, homemade desserts and cake balls, muffins, Abdallah chocolates, and their famous smoothies. 

"Our smoothies are very popular. We are the only place in town that still sells them in an eight ounce container," Linda went on to say. "The size is nice for small children or customers that would like to try a new flavor." 

"The kids love them and like to mix the flavors and come up with their own combinations. We are just like Burger King – you can have it your way," Nancy laughed. 

Blooming Branches also creates custom wreaths, cemetery wreaths and artificial and fresh centerpieces and arrangements for inside or outside the home. "We will have a nice selection of outdoor pots and hanging baskets this spring," said Linda. 

Blooming Branches has found their niche in the community "This location has served us well. We are grateful for our landlords, Tonya and Mike Schaefer, and know our success would please Tonya's mother, Bonnie, who always envisioned a creative retail shop or antique store in this space," they shared. "There is always going to be some overlap, but feel we offer services and products that are unique to Guttenberg." 

Linda and Nancy have been working together for the past 14 years."We put in a lot of hours, but also have family and friends who help out with special events and holidays. And of course we always have Augie, who delivers our flowers and keeps us entertained and the coffee going!"

Blooming Branches' opening day ten years ago solidified their decision to open a business. "We opened on a Monday and had people lined up at the front door waiting to come in. The community has been so supportive throughout the years and supported us through the COVID-19 pandemic, when we offered curbside pickup and delivery," they said with gratitude. "Tourists are great, but they come and go. It is the community that supports us." 

"We could not have done this without each other. It's been a lot of work and a lot of fun!" they shared. 

For additional information call 563-252-3800, or email bloomingbranches@alpinecom.net

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