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Kelly Wayand, a florist at Jack Neal Floral, selects flowers in a refrigerated walk-in cooler for an arrangement on February 7, 2017.

Jack Neal Floral gears up for Valentine’s Day

Correction appended. 

Carnations, baby’s breath and lilies are scattered around Jack Neal Floral. However, in February, the stars of the show are the roses.

A bouquet of flowers is a Valentine’s Day staple for many people looking to give a gift to their significant other, but for Jack Neal, the classic gift is what keeps the business open all year round.

“Without Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day of course, you wouldn’t be able to keep a flower shop,” Natasha Neal, a co-owner of Jack Neal Floral, said.

Jack Neal Floral, 80 E. State St. has been in business for more than 40 years and has been owned by Natasha and Davey Neal since 2008. The business was founded by Davey’s parents and Natasha and her husband worked at the shop before owning it.

The shop used to be at 12 W. Union St., but was forced to move after the Union Street fire. Natasha said the couple wanted to move the shop back Uptown, but the Ohio University Credit Union now occupies their old spot and it’s hard for them to find a place big enough to suit their needs.

April Williams-Schrader, a Logan resident, has purchased arrangements from Jack Neal multiple times, including corsages and boutineers.

“(The value) was always above and beyond … for the product that you’re getting and the service,” Williams-Schrader said.

Jack Neal has always been known to be the biggest floral shop in Athens, Williams-Schrader said. She added that she likes supporting a local business that provides quality products.

On any given day, the business has at least 15 different types of flowers. The flowers come from all over the world including countries in South America, and Jack Neal purchases them from a wholesale company.

When it comes to making bouquets, the workers at Jack Neal Floral like to work with the customer to find out what kind of colors and flowers the receiver likes. However, sometimes the customer does not know exactly what they want.

“I think sometimes people … would rather leave it to to us and of course we’re the experienced ones and we’re perfectly fine with that,” Natasha said.

The pricing of the flowers depends on each flower that goes into an arrangement and the different kinds of vases available to the customer. However, if a customer wants, they can come in a purchase a single flower wrapped in tissue paper for $2.

Kelly Scurlock, a Chauncey resident, received flowers from Jack Neal Floral on Monday, but she said it was not her first time receiving flowers from the shop.

“They’re absolutely gorgeous,” Scurlock said. “I think the quality of flowers that they get in are better than just the bulk in a grocery store.

Scurlock also said she likes supporting a small business with top-quality flowers.

“The most fun or gratifying part of it would be the reaction you get on the receiving end,” Natasha said. “Sometimes when (people) receive their flowers, they ‘ooh’ or they ‘ahh’ and you can tell you really made their day.”

Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year, and Natasha said it will be “killer” because most of the orders will come in and be delivered on Monday and Tuesday. Natasha predicts the shop will receive about 200 orders for delivery on Monday and Tuesday. In the past, the shop has done nearly 350 deliveries on Valentine’s Day alone, which doesn’t include walk-ins or pick-up orders.

“I think probably the hardest part for us is people don’t plan ahead,” Natasha said. “We’ll be getting a lot of phone calls on the 13th still wanting deliveries for that day of the 14th, so that makes it really hard on us.”

@_alexdarus

ad019914@ohio.edu

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated where Kelly Scurlock is from. She is a Chauncey resident. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information. 

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