BUCKTOWN — A flower and gift shop selling bouquets, ceramics and other gifts opens Saturday in Bucktown.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, 2001 N. Oakley Ave., is the latest project from Ananda Zoe Breslof, owner of longtime Bucktown special event florist Flowerlife, Inc.
Breslof has provided flowers and bouquets for weddings, parties and other events for more than 20 years. But business quickly dried up when the pandemic hit, forcing her to start selling directly to the public.
“I reached out to the Bucktown community and asked them: … I run an event company, there are no events — does anybody want to buy flower bouquets from me? And they just stepped up and helped me out,” Breslof said. “It just led me to my pandemic pivot of doing something I’ve always wanted to do, which is opening up a retail division.”
The store’s full name is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn — Bucktown Branch, an homage to Breslof’s home of Brooklyn, New York, and the Betty Smith novel of the same name.
The store will offer varieties of fresh and preserved bouquets, a weekly and biweekly flower subscription service, ceramics and holiday gifts.
“I’ve always dreamed about opening up a retail shop. And I really struggled hard for a long time to get this going. I know a lot of businesses that were forced to shut down, so I feel pretty lucky that I’m able to pivot this way,” Breslof said.
Breslof is continuing to run Flowerlife, which is operating a few blocks north near Fullerton and Western avenues. She said she’s already had one event canceled over concerns about COVID-19’s Omicron variant, which was detected in Chicago Tuesday, but she is optimistic more weddings and parties will return in 2022.
During the pandemic, Breslof also started giving away bouquets to people nominated by community members for a “flower pick-me-up.” She plans to continue that practice through her new store.
“The community stepped up, so I’m stepping up. I’m going to give away free bouquets for amazing people who need them. Why not? That’s what I’m in this business for, to make people happy,” she said.
Breslof is holding an open house noon-4 p.m. Saturday. After that, a Tree Grows In Brooklyn will be open 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
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