Nacogdoches Floral Company named Small Business of the Year
Posted 12/08/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Pictured above from left are Brittany, Colton, Sarah, Austin, Blake, Stella, Diana, Karen and James at Nacogdoches Floral Company. (Photo by Kelly Augustine)


Nacogdoches Floral Company is Small Business of the Year

by Kelly Augustine, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce

As Nacogdoches Floral Company approaches the 100-year-anniversary, current co-owners James and Karen Ballow continue to build on the successes and advancements made by past owners. 

“James and Karen have supported our community for many years, and it’s always a joy to get a special bouquet from Nacogdoches Floral!” said Francis Spruiell, Regional President, Austin Bank, and past Chamber Chairman. “I remember assisting with their ribbon cutting in 2007, and they have flourished since the move to their current location on North St. They have been a great community partner to the Chamber over the years. For decades, Nacogdoches Floral has provided the red ribbons and bows for our many ribbon cutting celebrations.”

The roots of the business run deep in Nacogdoches. The Benson brothers started Nacogdoches Floral in 1925 at the original downtown location on Church St. 

The florist shop was an FTD member, which made it easy for sending orders from town to town. In those early days, many flowers not grown locally were brought in by train and picked up at the depot.

The shop sold to Sam Heaberlan and wife in the early 40s and the couple moved the business to N. Mound St., positioning it across the street from the Oakley Metcalf Funeral Home and a few blocks away from Cason Monk Funeral Home and Memorial Hospital. The Heaberlans made improvements throughout the years, and they even grew their own gladiolas to sell in the shop.

One update that made a big splash in the community was the addition of a large neon clock Sam installed on the front exterior of the building. People would make a point to go by the shop to check the time, and The Sentinel ran a feature on the clock with the headline “Does anybody really know that TIME it is? Go by Nacogdoches Floral Co. to find out.”

In 1970 Robert and Linda Grogan purchased Nacogdoches Floral, and they made their signature advancements in the business, including what Robert considered “a fad at the time that wouldn’t last long. But I’m glad we decided to sell that ‘fad’ in the shop - balloons!” he said.

Outstanding customer service and providing quality products were high priorities for the Grogans. Robert recalled that “in the 80s, there was an ice storm that hit hard. The roads were iced over, and I didn’t think there would be much going on in town. I went on to work, and when I arrived at the shop, there were three cars waiting for us to open.”

At this point, flowers were flown from California to Shreveport and could be picked up at the Shreveport airport, and later, the flower supply was transported by bus from the airport and could be picked up at the Nacogdoches bus station. Delivery continued to evolve and wholesalers from Dallas began delivering directly to shops.

James and Karen bought the business in 1998 at its N. Mound St. and Hospital St. location. Sons Blake and Colton were seven and two-years-old when James and Karen took ownership. Now the sons are partners at the shop along with Colton’s fiancé Brittany and friends Gina, Sara, Austin, Karl and Diana.

Through the years, thousands have had their days “brightened” because of Nacogdoches Floral and the Ballows have filled orders for well-known names such as Reba McIntire, Brad Paisley and local celebrities including Brad Maule and David Stallings, aka Willie P.

An initial addition to the business made by James and Karen was creating www.NacogdochesFloral.com where customers could browse and place orders online. When the Ballows built the new building and moved to the 3602 North St. location, they added a large gift shop, greenhouse and installed a 100-ft.-long cooler that is maxed out during major holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

One Valentine’s Day stands out in James’ memory. “Nacogdoches was hit with five inches of snow, and we took ‘the show must go on’ approach,” he said. “At 2:30 a.m., I remember being the first set of tracks on the snowy roads coming in to the shop. I used my yard tractor like a snow plow to push snow off the parking lot. We managed to deliver every one of the hundreds of arrangements that Karen and the designers had created. We made it happen.”

Along with that example of dedicated customer service, Nacogdoches Floral Co. continues to make improvements that keep the business on the cutting edge of technological advancements. “Recently, we began offering indoor virtual tours of the shop that anyone can take through Google Maps street view,” James said. “Be sure to check it out!”

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce board of directors have named Nacogdoches Floral Co. as Small Business of the Year, a Gary Justice Business Award sponsored by Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A. The owners will be recognized at the Nacogdoches County Chamber’s 99th Annual Meeting & Membership Banquet on Jan. 12, 2021 (also James’ birthday) at The Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center. Call 936-560-5533 for tickets and table reservations.

###

 

Events
Newcomer Guide
Chamber Directory & Map
These premier Chamber publications are widely distributed throughout Nacogdoches County and beyond!
Texas Blueberry Festival   |   Business Development   |   Contact Us   |   Nacogdoches Jobs   |   Economy
© Copyright 2005-2021 Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.
2516 North St., Nacogdoches, Texas 75965 • (936) 560-5533
Unless otherwise noted, no part of this website may be reproduced without written permission.
Newcomer Guide
Chamber Directory & Map
These premier Chamber publications are widely distributed throughout Nacogdoches County and beyond!
© Copyright 2005-2020 Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.
2516 North St., Nacogdoches, Texas 75965 • (936) 560-5533
Unless otherwise noted, no part of this website may be reproduced without written permission.