Shenandoah Floral open house scheduled for today, Feb. 1

A Shenandoah and Imogene business merged to create Shenandoah Floral and Baile Market.

Cory Gordon, founder and owner of Baile Market in Imogene, purchased Shenandoah Floral and Joyce Ellen’s on Main from Nancy Maher. Gordon said the new name of the business will be Shenandoah Floral and Baile Market.

Gordon started the greenhouse and garden center known as Baile Market in Imogene four years ago. When the opportunity arose to purchase Shenandoah Floral, she said the two businesses fit perfectly together.

“It’s been in the thought process for a while,” said Gordon. “This is an iconic business in Shenandoah, and the location was perfect. The pairing of the two is like the perfect marriage.”

Gordon plans to offer gift items and the latest trends in home décor in the Shenandoah store.

“You’ll see some garden items in the spring when we’ll bring in hanging baskets and planters,” said Gordon. “We will have fresh flowers and spring flowers.”

Gordon said the greenhouses and Baile Market in Imogene is a seasonal business and she will continue to keep those open in the spring.

“We’ll have a little bit of Shenandoah Floral up in Imogene, and you’ll have some Baile Market in Shenandoah,” said Gordon.

With Baile Market being a seasonal business spring will be a busy time of year.

“I grow all the plants for Baile Market,” said Gordon. “I will be hands-on in both locations all the time.”

Gordon said, in the spring she plans to be in Imogene full time and be in Shenandoah as time allows. She said she has “great staff in both locations” that will make the transition run smoothly and will allow her to go back and forth between the two locations.

Gordon has some new ideas for Shenandoah Floral. She plans to offer make-and-take classes and host private and public canvas painting parties.

A new feature being added to the business is a bridal registry, and Gordon said the business is available to decorate for weddings. Shenandoah Floral will continue to offer delivery to the surrounding area.

“We’re going to change some things but continue the same great service,” said Gordon.

Maher had rented the flatiron building on Sheridan Avenue in Shenandoah in 2004 and opened a home décor shop, Joyce Ellen’s on Main, named after her late sister. In 2006 she purchased the Shenandoah Floral name and telephone number which at the time was located on Highway 59 and moved the business downtown next to the flatiron building. Maher then expanded Joyce Ellen’s to occupy the building on the other side. With a demand for downtown buildings, Maher later incorporated Shenandoah Floral into the flatiron building with Joyce Ellen’s on Main to free up a building.

In 2008 Maher reopened Mae Farmer as a high-end boutique. She closed it last March due to the declining clothing/retail market.

Maher said she was looking at retirement and found the opportunity to sell Shenandoah Floral and Joyce Ellen’s on Main to Gordon.

Maher said Gordon will be a huge asset to downtown Shenandoah.

“With her greenhouses at the Imogene location, her enthusiasm, energy and talent she seemed to be a great fit for Shenandoah Floral,” said Maher. “Every retailer, when they look at their retirement or transitioning into the next phase of their life just hope for someone like that to come along.”

Maher said her main concern is the community supports the local businesses because local support is vital.

Maher still has plenty to keep her busy.

Two and a half years ago, she was appointed by the governor to the Iowa Department of Transportation Commission.

“I go to meetings once a month, and then we travel the state four times a year,” said Maher.

Maher said the commission looks at road and bridge projects, repairs and new projects, even the railroad crossings.

“We have a lot of entities that we cover,” said Maher. ”It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve met some great people. So that keeps me occupied somewhat keeping up with all the information we gather for that commission.”

Maher will also stay busy as one of the nine local investors that purchased the KMA Radio Station last year.

Maher said there are a lot of great things happening in Shenandoah and the focus remains to keep the downtown vibrant and occupied.

Shenandoah Floral is located at 514 W. Sheridan Ave. and hours will remain 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. An open house is planned for Saturday, Feb. 1, during normal business hours.

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