CHICAGO, IL A beloved neighborhood flower shop that closed in 2016 after eight years at 99th and Walden Parkway is about to make its return to the Beverly neighborhood. Steve English and Ryan Steinbach are working on having The Blossom Boys' new location at 1810 W. 103rd St. open this month.
"We decided back in the spring that we would bring back The Blossom Boys, but it won't be the same Blossom Boys," said English, who noted the original location that first opened in 2008 had a heavy emphasis on "fair trade" and American made goods.
"But we also tried to accommodate everyone, and that's certainly hard to do with a small flower shop."
English says that while there will remain "an element of fair trade" in the business, that aspect will be "more like a trunk show" with certain merchandise coming in for a set period of time.
Another change will be the location. English and Steinbach are in the process of rehabbing a previously vacant storefront east of the 103rd Street Metra Rock Island station near RMH Design and the recently opened Ohana Ice & Treats.
What will remain at the new Blossom Boys store will be the impeccable flower arrangements and gifts and the focus on providing arrangements for weddings and major events.
"We'd love to tap a little bit more into larger events, the hotel market and, in this neighborhood, the Irish children," English said, noting he has some unique ideas on how to provide flower arrangements for communion parties.
Steinbach says he's excited about bringing arts & crafts classes back to the business.
"We do one class that shows you how to build a little terrarium, others on the fundamentals of globe design and maybe something on giving tips on how to do a fall urn," he said, adding in hopes to expand the classes to include clay techniques and other crafts.
"We'd like to do more than just flowers and gifts," he said.
The space may also host works of art from young area artists that were part of the abOUT Art exhibit English helped curate at the Beverly Arts Center earlier this year.
"We want it to look more like a gallery and treat flowers as an art form," he said.
English said the new space, which is a bit larger than the location on Walden Parkway, "won't look quite the same as the cute little flower shop we had before," with some "high-end" additions like a few antique furniture items purchased from another florist who recently closed.
"More than anything, we want this to be a place where people come together," he said.
Expect the Blossom Boys to be open soon. They plan to participate in the community's 2nd annual "Sip & Shop" event planned along the 103rd Street and 99th Street business districts on Sept. 20.
"We'd like to have some kind of soft opening before that," Steinbach said.
Also, two artists will also be stationed at the new shop during this year's Beverly Art Walk scheduled for Sept. 29.
With the new location and slight change in approach, English and Steinbach briefly considered changing the name.
"But we didn't," English said. "People know us as the Blossom Boys so we are still going to be the Blossom Boys."
From a press release