A growing business: Cottage Grove Florist gets new ownershipBill Junco and his wife, Linda, are the new owners of Cottage Grove Florist. They bought the shop last month from Susan Berger and Nancy Momsen, who owned it for the past 19 years.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Bill Junco is a budding business owner.
When he worked for others, Junco occasionally thought about running his own business but he had not anticipated the opportunity that sprouted last month.
Junco and his wife, Linda, are the new owners of Cottage Grove Florist. They bought the shop last month from Susan Berger and Nancy Momsen, who owned it for the past 19 years.
An industrial engineer by training, Junco worked for companies that made gears for large off-road vehicles. A career change nine years ago put him in the role of small group director at Faith Community Church in Hudson, Wis., where he and Linda live and have raised their five children.
Still, he had other back-of-the-mind professional pursuits.
“I’ve always had that inkling of owning my own business,” he said. He looked occasionally over the past several years.
With his wife’s encouragement, the pursuit got serious last fall.
“She said, ‘If we’re going to do this, let’s do it now,’” Junco said.
He searched for available businesses by perusing brokerage firms online, eventually discovering that Cottage Grove Florist was for sale. He acknowledged knowing little about Cottage Grove, but found the shop’s history – it’s 30 years old this year – and position as the city’s only retail floral shop attractive.
“To me that tells me this is a stable business,” he said. “It looks like it’s been profitable for the last several years.”
Learning the basics
Junco and his wife have a backyard garden and he said he was casually familiar with flower names and types, but admitted he is in the midst of a steep learning curve as he tries to grow his understanding of flower types, arrangements and the retail pricing structure for floral displays.
But that’s OK, he said, because he enjoys reading and learning. He jumped into the venture whole-heartedly; he’ll work at the shop full time and is planning to learn floral decorating.
“It drives me,” he said of learning new things. “It gives me inspiration.”
One of Junco’s goals as owner is to grow foot traffic in the shop and to expand its gift selection. His wife makes stained glass art, which will be among new items they will sell in the gift shop.
The Juncos assumed ownership Dec. 28. He said initially he was nervous walking into the shop as its new proprietor. The emotions have changed as he has started to familiarize himself with the operation.
“Now the nervousness has gone away and I’m excited about the business and moving forward with it,” he said.
They step into the business at the start of a busy several months in the florist industry. It starts with the big one – Valentine’s Day.
“It’s like Black Friday for floral shops,” he said. Then there is Mother’s Day, high school proms and other celebrations. The shop also sells flowers for weddings, funerals and other events.
“We’re here for any way we can serve the community,” he said.
Cottage Grove Florist, 6990 80th St., is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 651-459-7179 or go to www.cottagegroveflorist.com.