Flowers are again blooming on a stretch of Commercial Street where a floral shop has long been among the business anchors.
Diane Berry opened Bloomin Crazy Floral in the Sanborn Building at 971 Commercial St. Nov. 9. The building was recently restored after a devastating fire last November gutted a portion of the block, including a space that long had been the address of Astoria Floral.
"This block has a history of having a florist and that was a good factor for me in choosing this location," she said.
Berry, who has worked in the local floral industry for over 30 years, is starting her first venture as a business owner.
"I have my own ideas of how I wanted to evolve a floral business in Astoria and my own tastes in merchandising," Berry told the Coast River Business Journal. "I'm aiming for a more contemporary, updated look."
Bloomin Crazy Floral features an assortment of fresh cut flowers and green plants from a variety of suppliers.
The store also offers a selection of home décor items and custom furniture, as well as jewelry, artwork and greeting cards - the latter items designed by Northwest artists. There also is an assortment of unique small vases designed for office desks.
Berry, who describes herself as a floral designer, said she custom-designs both fresh and silk flower arrangements for customers.
In addition to providing fresh flowers for weddings and other special occasions, Berry said she hopes to supply local restaurants with their floral needs.
Bloomin Crazy Floral offers all the traditional services of a floral shop, including out-of-area orders and local delivery.
Besides offering quality products, Berry said she is committed to "being customer-oriented and providing a friendly atmosphere."
"We're here to do it right," she said.
Berry, who has an associate degree in floristry from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., and has taught floral classes at Clatsop Community College, said she has harbored the idea of owning her own shop for a while.
"I know I have the ability and a good following of customers," she said. "The hardest part was just saying 'Yes, go ahead and do it'. I can tell you there were a lot of sleepless nights."
Berry said the name she chose for her shop was "a reflection on someone my age opening a business," as in "Are you bloomin crazy?"
As for starting a business in a down economy, she said that fact didn't play a role in her decision.
"Flowers can be affordable on any budget," Berry said.