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!”