Blossoming business in Hinsdale
Nancy Mitchell of Palos Park and son David Mitchell of Homer Glen recently bought the Hinsdale Flower Shop, at 17 W. First St.. The Mitchell family has been in the flower business since 1916. | Ryan Pagelow—Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:15AM
HINSDALE — The Hinsdale Flower Shop is in new hands.
But those hands are old hands, when it comes to flowers. The new owners, the Mitchells, have been in the flower business since 1916, when a relative opened Southtown Flowers at 72nd and State Street in Chicago.
George and Nancy Mitchell own Mitchells’ Orland Park Flowers, a business that the family has operated for about 40 years. Hinsdale Flower Shop owner Glen Egelund trainded under George Mitchell, so reached out to them when he decided to sell his shop at 17 W. First St., trained under George Mitchell.
“I’ve always liked Hinsdale,” said David Mitchell, George and Nancy’s son, who is in the family business, along with his sister and wife. “Our organist in church lived at Third and Park in Hinsdale, and every week, my brother, my sister and myself would come here for piano lessons.”
While one of the siblings was having their lesson, the others would walk around the town with their mother.
“It’s a great community,” David Mitchell said.
He majored in accounting at University of Illinois in Champaign and after graduation, worked for a company that sold accounting software to florists.
“It was a tough sell,” Mitchell said.
Flower shops traditionally are mom and pop operations and it was when small businesses were just starting to use computer and point-of-sale systems.
“I met a lot of florists and made a lot of connections,” said Mitchell, who serves on the Board of the Society of American Florists. But in the early 90s, his parents’ flower business was growing and they wanted his help.
Mitchell, who had taken classes in ornamental horticulture while at college, came on board.
His favorite part of the business is helping brides plan their weddings.
“I really enjoy meeting with the bride, usually she is newly engaged and all excited,” he said. “We create a vision for her wedding. Then months later, it’s the day of the wedding and you get to see all that work come to fruition.”
The new owners are adjusting to the parking situation here.
In Orland Park, Mitchell’s is a free-standing store with a 15-car parking lot, which means, “If someone walks in, they’re going to buy something,” Mitchell said.
In Hinsdale, there’s the opportunity to make customers out of the passers-by who are on their way to someplace else.
“We want kind of an interesting (display) window and . . . we are being more creative in how we set up the store. Maybe they’ll stop in and look.”