Living Flowers

Sights and smells of flowers lift spirits

Sights and smells of flowers lift spirits

There’s something about the sweet fragrance inside a floral shop that draws you in like a breath of fresh air.

Shop owners in Beloit and South Beloit say even in a year when the COVID-19 virus has dampened many spirits and negatively impacted some area businesses, the flower business has remained steady.

Christie Arndt, owner of Nyrie’s Floral Shop in South Beloit for 30 years, says she no longer notices the floral perfume when she works in the shop after three decades.

But customers and visitors are sure to notice.

Nyrie’s, 1320 Blackhawk Blvd., South Beloit, first was located further down the street, then in 1985, the shop moved to the present site. Arndt and her mom bought the business in 1991, she said. That happened after she had gained some experience.

“I used to work at Rindfleisch Floral in Beloit,” she said.

While there: “I learned a lot,” she said.

“Then this came up for sale,” she said, of Nyrie’s.

The shop has four employees.

Arndt said she enjoys the work because “every day is different.”

That includes designing a variety of arrangements as well as housing potted plants.

Of her products she said: “We are more of a florist than a gift shop; we just do floral.”

As for how business has gone, she said 2020 has been a good year and that she is grateful for the customers.

“During the past year we have been really busy.”

Presently, Arndt is gearing up for the biggest floral event of the year, Valentine’s Day.

“You start gearing up for it right after Christmas,” she said.

That means ordering products, supplies and containers.

Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday but Valentine’s Day is the biggest day, she said. On that February weekend, the shop also will have four vans out delivering flowers. But people also can stop in. Many are repeat customers; some stop in to see the two rescue cats in the shop, Shadow and Ghost, Arndt said.

At Beloit Floral, 1205 Cranston Road, Beloit, three generations of the same family have operated the floral and gift shop for more than a century.

“My grandfather Thomas Panos started the shop in 1916,” said Mary (Spelius) Foster. Mary’s father, the late George Spelius and her mother, Nancy Spelius ran the shop after that. Mrs. Spelius, 85, still comes in to the shop six days a week, her daughter said.

Beloit Floral opened on State Street in downtown Beloit then moved to another location at 321 State. By 1972 business expanded and the downtown site was joined by the addition of the Cranston Road shop. Then in 1988, the stores were consolidated into the Cranston Road location. Presently, there are 10 employees.