Story and photos by Tara Nelson
When the going gets tough, the tough diversify.
That’s what Blaine business owner Adrianne Hansen, a single mother of two, decided when her sales weren’t enough to pay the rent at her Petal Attractions floral shop at 810 Peace Portal Drive.
Faced with ever-increasing back rent last April, Hansen and her mother Bessie, with whom she works, started offering made-from-scratch soups and sandwiches to complement their floral bouquet, ice cream and espresso business.
With sales down nearly 60 percent since last year, Hansen had a choice: either diversify or close the doors completely.
“There has been very little business and instead of buying inventory, we thought it would make a good use of the space,” she said. “We were thinking about closing after sales this summer were down 60 percent from last year. The economy’s just been really bad for us.”
Her strategy is nothing new. Last December, Hansen also expanded the business to include a gallery of works by nine local artists of the Sweet Road Artisan Alliance (SRAA).
But Hansen says she is optimistic her most recent expansion will help business pick up. She has already gotten so many special requests for her Thursday lunch special – an Asian chicken curry salad in a wholewheat pita from Seaside Bakery – that she may start offering it daily.
The recipe is her own and includes chopped celery, apple, raisins, almonds and diced chicken in a light curry-mayonnaise dressing.
“It’s really light and refreshing,” she said. “Everything we use is fresh and made-from-scratch.”
Petal Attractions is located at 810 Peace Portal Drive at the corner of Martin Street.
Hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Saturday and Sunday. They can be reached by calling 332-2059.