‘Closet-sized’ floral shop blooms for V-day

Sheffield’s Floral sells 1,000 to 1,200 roses around Valentine’s Day.

Carly Hall and Tina Zedginidze work on wrapping a floral arrangement Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Sheffield's Floral in Stadium Village.

Bridget Bennett

Carly Hall and Tina Zedginidze work on wrapping a floral arrangement Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Sheffield’s Floral in Stadium Village.

Meritte Dahl

 

“The course of true love ever did run funky,” read the message in a Valentine’s bouquet for John Wright’s wife Saturday morning.

The University of Minnesota professor of African-American and African studies has purchased flowers from Sheffield’s Floral for at least 15 years.

“I have always enjoyed the personal touch,” he said.

Sheffield’s has been Stadium Village’s local floral shop for 50 years, said Carly Hall, florist and environmental policy junior.

Valentine’s Day is the busiest season of the year for the “closet-sized” floral shop next to Stub and Herb’s bar, Hall said.

In the days leading up to the hectic holiday, numerous bouquets and balloons lined the wall refrigerators, any counter space was covered. Shelving units reach toward the ceiling.

During the Valentine’s Day season, Sheffield’s sells 1,000 to 1,200 roses, Hall said.

On the big day, she said, there’s always a line of men stretched out the door, late for their dates.

“The Valentine’s Day spirit, for me, is when the guys in line bond over buying flowers for their girlfriends,” Hall said.

Sheffield’s specializes in floral arrangements but also sells balloons, cards and small gifts.

The store does a lot of business for nearby hospitals and various holidays as well as the University, Hall said.

President of the Stadium Village Commercial Association Joe Walvoord said Sheffield’s is a value to the Stadium Village community.

“That type of a shop is necessary for our area,” Walvoord said.

Hall said University students often buy single flowers, faculty members frequently order bouquets for retirees, parents buy flowers for students and the fraternities and sororities have accounts with the shop.

“We get a lot of orders during Sweetheart Week,” she said.

The floral options range from familiar roses to more unusual bouquets. One arrangement even features a miniature Weber grill, Hall said.

Valentine’s Day customers are usually confused when they come into the store, Hall said. When choosing a bouquet, she advises them to think about what they want the arrangement to mean to their special someone.

Although in business for nearly 50 years, for its first 30 years the shop was owned by a family named Sheffield and had a slightly different location — where the Stub and Herb’s patio currently sits.

The store was on the first floor, and the second floor was the family’s home, she said.

The current building was formerly part of Stub and Herb’s, Hall said.

Soon-ja Han bought Sheffield’s 10 years ago. Han decided to buy Sheffield’s Floral because she has a passion for flowers, said Jinna Seong, florist and the owner’s niece.

University students make up the rest of the staff, Hall said, and they have a varied list of majors from psychology to art to law.

Hall decided to work at Sheffield’s because of her interest in flowers and horticulture.

History junior and florist Becky Whitmore chose to pursue the job at the recommendation of a friend. Working at Sheffield’s was overwhelming at first, Whitmore said, but it’s rewarding.

Sheffield’s operates under Teleflora, an “umbrella company” that allows shoppers to find a local florist in different parts of the country, Whitmore said.

“People should order local — you get more bang for your buck, and you help local florists,” Hall said.

Amid telephone orders and walk-ins, Hall and Whitmore cleaned, cut and removed thorns from pre-ordered Valentine’s Day roses Saturday.

Leaving Valentine’s Day flower purchasing until the last minute can mean waiting in a long line, Hall said.

“To the guys in line the day-of: Learn from your mistake, and order early next year.”