Deneen Badami the owner and proprietor of A Flower Basket in downtown Ralston at 5615 S. 77th St., has been keeping busy since taking over the floral shop — with a 30-year history in Ralston — on Feb. 29 2012
“Business has been great,” said Deneen who herself has 25 years in the flower business, including more than three years of her own at A Flower Basket “ I’m putting the shop out there as a place where I do everything and it’s still a full-service, special attention florist”.
It’s a skill Deneen first learned while working for what’s known as a “bucket stand” florist on the streets and beaches of San Diego. “That’s where I learned all my flowers,” she said. “It was basically a shack with four walls and a cooler, “I was young but I was a sponge, just learning everything I could.”
Two years later, Deneen a native of Aurora, IL moved to Nebraska and took up work at area flower shops, but always with an eye toward branching out on her own. When she landed at A Flower Basket, she saw the perfect picture of what she wanted her business to be.“I thought a shop like this, on a little street in a small town, that was a great setting,” she said. “And my goal here is to really get involved in the community. Ralston is such a great community. Everyone’s so loyal to local businesses.”
For three-and-a-half years, Deneen worked at A Flower Basket, moved on for a year. But a return trip to her old shop had her nostalgic and she could tell the place needed an extra set of hands. “I just felt like it was the place I should be,” she said.
A few months later, she inquired about purchasing the shop and running it as her own.Since then, she’s been running solo and still bringing more vibrancy to her work — building up the gift market at A Flower Basket, and securing a spot in the Wedding Essentials Bridal Show every fall. Deneen said her aim as a florist is to be accessible and available to any and all customers
Of course, there’s also the brick-and-mortar location that has been in the same storefront for the past three decades and for which Deneen admits certain nostalgia. “This little area is great,” she said. “This square in Ralston is really starting to get a lot of people coming through here and we do some business that way.” The Ralston AnnualWine Walk is always a big hit”
In addition to flower wholesalers, Deneen also takes great pride in her own home garden, which she said is always overflowing with color.However she gets customers, Deneen is no shrinking violet on her views about the floral field — a field that is more than just an ephemeral plain of pretty palettes.“I think people have the attitude that fresh flowers don’t last,” she said. “They do. You just have to take care of them and that’s one thing people can get here.”