Flower and gift shop fulfills dream for local couple

by Stephen Dafoe

Taking over The Flower Stop on 100 Avenue from former owner Lisa Bertschi was the achievement of a lifelong dream for Lori McLaughlin. She and husband Darcy took over the longtime Morinville business Apr. 18 and are looking forward to providing Morinville and area residents with some familiar and some completely new products and services.

“It’s been my dream to own a shop for quite a long time,” said Lori McLaughlin. “When it came for sale we jumped at the chance and bought it. I’ve just always dreamed of having my own little shop, bringing some home decor and some great gift stuff into Morinville.”

Lori McLaughlin has lived in Morinville since 1979 and has been with the Morinville RCMP for 24 of those years. She will continue to work there. Darci McLaughlin said he came to Morinville with the military in 1996 and never left. Now retired, he is looking forward to helping Lori and her staff at the store and with deliveries.

Part of the store’s new line of products is McLaughlin’s daughter’s Brushstrokes by Jodi art line and its placement in the shop is a return to home for the local artist.

“My daughter started here in high school working at the same shop designing flowers, and that is kind of how her career in art began,” McLaughlin said.

The Flower Stop will also sell Grace & Lace, a women’s product line of accessories that appeared on Shark Tank; Country Affair Candles, a Flower Stop exclusive in Morinville; and Mel V Tiles, ceramic plaques with inspirational messages. They will also carry a variety of other gift items.

One line the couple is excited about adding to the mix are wine baskets. The McLaughlins have applied for a liquor licence that will enable them to create custom gift baskets with wine and other spirits.

“We’ll be doing different wine baskets, Father’s Day baskets – whatever the interest is,” Lori McLaughlin said, adding they should be starting the program by the end of May.

Flowers will continue to be a significant part of the business. McLaughlin said floral designer Jaye Parrent is still with the company and has been designing for 22 years.

“She is an accredited designer, so she has stayed on with us,” McLaughlin said. “The community can still expect the quality and service of the flowers. We’ve also kept the same supplier, and we’re carrying the same quality of flowers.”

The Flower Stop is currently planning for the Town Wide Garage Sale on May 28. They will join next door neighbour Morinville Sports in setting up outside with some good clearance deals.

“We’re going to put out some stock at a discounted price and show people what we have to offer,” Darci McLaughlin said.

But before the Town Wide Garage Sale, the shop is actively preparing for Mothers’ Day.

“Mothers’ Day is important because you recognize the person that cared for you your whole life, and you want to thank her in some special way,” Darci McLaughlin said. “We should treat them with the utmost of kindness and respect every day but especially that day.”

Although closed on Sunday, McLaughlin said the store will be open the Sunday of Mothers’ Day.

The Flower Stop hours have changed to longer hours in general. They will be open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the hopes of offering better service to commuters and those shopping Saturday afternoons.

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