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Woodstock Blvd gains a bakery, but loses a florist

by: MERRY MACKINNON - Lynn Banta (Rachel Herrons mother), Rachel Herron, and Elsie Herron will be greeting customers at The Flower Shop in Woodstock during the Holidays. But at the end of January, the shop will be closed and Grand Central Bakery will move in.The popular Mehri’s Bakery, at 52nd and Bybee Boulevard, is nearby – but for years, Woodstock Boulevard shoppers have said they would like a bakery on their street, and have said so repeatedly in WNA surveys seeking types of businesses desired in Woodstock Boulevard’s primary commercial district. For those shoppers, it will be good news that Grand Central Bakery has signed a lease for the storefront at 4412 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. But, at the same time, the neighborhood is losing a flower shop that has operated at that location for 26 years.

“We’ve been talking about retiring for awhile,” said the owner of The Flower Shop, Laura Low. “For the last six to eight months business has been slowing down.”

Low, who worked a full-time job while she owned the business, is, herself, looking forward to slowing down and enjoying some leisure.

“It’s been a great experience to have a small business,” Low mused. “But retiring is bittersweet because Woodstock is revitalizing. But, in the end, it was best for us and for the neighborhood to have a larger company come in.”

Rachel Herron owns the “Worn & Refind” side of the same business, and when the partners also heard talk that a New Seasons Market might open on the boulevard, that reinforced their decision to close the shop.

“It’s not the reason we’re closing,” Herron said. “But New Seasons and Trader Joe’s both sell flowers, and we can’t compete.”

A Sellwood resident, Herron's looking forward to spending more time with her four-month-old baby Elsie. But since Herron has also learned sales during the six years that she’s run The Flower Shop – not only selling bouquets but also the scarves, gloves, jewelry, and furniture that are displayed around the store, Herron anticipates finding another outlet for her “Worn & Refind” enterprise.

“This has given me the opportunity to run a shop,” Herron said. "Maybe I’ll go into sales or open a booth at Stars Antiques Malls.”

The shop will remain open for the Holiday season, but after closeout sales end in January, The Flower Shop will close permanently.

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