Downtown will gain new flower retailer in the fall
A local couple plan to open a flower shop this fall in downtown Tonganoxie.
Ray and Sandy Bichelmeyer purchased the former Tonganoxie Mirror building, 613 E. Fourth, from the Waterman family, which had owned it since 1991. Since last Friday, work has been under way to refurbish the structure.
Sandy Bichelmeyer said Tuesday that her new shop will be called Sandy's Flowers Etc. Once it opens, the shop will offer silk and fresh flowers, as well as gift items. In addition, the Bichelmeyer's son, John, will offer some of his wood creations coffee tables, end tables, bookcases, sofa tables and clocks at the store.
"I'm going to bring a few pieces here," said John Bichelmeyer, who owns his own shop, Artisans Designs in a Denver suburb. "It's just wood products."
Sandy Bichelmeyer hopes to open by Sept. 1.
"We've got a lot of work to do six months," she said, surveying the building.
Plans call for removing floor coverings to expose an old oak floor, new paint and plaster, a refurbished ceiling and as much exposed red brick as possible.
"We're trying to leave as much old stuff as possible stuff that everybody covered up," said John Bichelmeyer, who plans to help with the project through July.
In addition, the outside of the building probably will get a new coat of paint and a new awning, and the two large front windows will return, to show off floral displays.
For Sandy Bichelmeyer, opening a flower shop has been a longtime dream. Years ago, she had plans to attend floral school, but family obligations came first. For six years, she and her husband also operated a barbecue restaurant in Eudora. After they sold that, Bichelmeyer attended floral design school and worked at flower shops. Presently, she handles floral arrangements for Factory Oak Outlet in Lenexa.
She believes the area can support her business.
"I think the town is growing a lot," she said.
And her location carries another bonus: Her sister's business is across Fourth Street.
"I like being right across from my sister Susie's hair and Sandy's flowers," Bichelmeyer said.