Randy Jones is a happy camper these days. With the announcement of his retirement he was doubly pleased to be able to tell his customers that while he was â??retiringâ? his long standing flower shop would continue.
On Monday, the new owners were in the store surveying what will be their new home.
â??Weâ??re planning to re-open January 4,â? said Steve Cone, who along with his wife Christina, are the owners of Endless Creations that they opened in Culpeper in May of last year.
Both Steve and Christina have some 30 years of experience in the green industry. In fact their love affair with all things green and beautiful started when they met in college as horticulture students.
â??Actually, it started before then,â? chuckled Steve who recalled that they had actually shared a bus ride to an FFA conference in Kansas City, Missouri as students. â??We learned later that we had been on the same bus.â?
Married in 1986, theyâ??ve been growing mums and houseplants and continuously involved in their craft which, when it comes down to it, is about servicing their customers with creations that, as Christina says, â??are endless as is their commitment to customers.â?
Wanting to keep a local florist here, the Cones jumped on the opportunity to buy Randyâ??s Flowers which will give them much needed room for expansion and they love having a large parking lot.
â??We only had three coolers,â? said Christina, â??and Randy has seven.â?
The Cones share a love of the industry as does Jones but the three hadnâ??t met until they struck up this deal.
â??We knew of Randy,â? says Christina, â??but pretty much, this is a business deal and weâ??re very happy because of Randyâ??s reputation in the community.â?
Jones laughs as he focuses to finish a floral arrangement. â??I hope you wonâ??t be a mean boss.â?
Jones will stay on for a month to help with transition. His assistant, Dylan Dymond, will continue his employment with the new owners.
For now, customers wonâ??t see too much of a change namewise. New signage will read – Randyâ??s Flowers by Endless Creations.
â??We felt this was a good move,â? says Steve, â??tying the two names together and to make things easier with websites and customer recognition.â?
FTD and Teleflora will be a continued feature that the Cones had at Endless Creations. â??It has given us name recognition on a national level and we want to be able to offer those services,â? says Steve.
In addition to the full-service flower shop, the Cones will also offer gift items and candles and when it comes time for prom, Jimâ??s Formal Wear will be part of their tuxedo rental business.
The Cones are very pleased with the positive feedback they are getting from customers throughout the region about their move.
For florists, weddings are a mainstay. A bridal show is in the works for January as well as an open house.
The Cones appreciate their children, now grown, who have helped them throughout the years. Daughter Dana Kalagian is a Spanish teacher at Eastern View HIgh School but she helps out running the desk as often as she is able. Her husband, an attorney, helps with their IT needs.
Their son Scotty is an ace when it comes to electrical or construction needs.
One feature that the new store will offer is the opportunity for customers to create their own bouquet,.
â??We have one gentlemen that comes in about once a month and likes to pick individual flowers to make up a bouquet,â? says Steve, â??so weâ??ll have a cooler with an assortment of fresh flowers for that purpose.â?
Another program that the Cones had in place at Endless Creations and that they plan to continue is â??food for flowersâ?? which, while offered at special times during the year, they wonâ??t turn down a customer who wants to take advantage.â??
â??There is always a need,â? says Christina, â??and itâ??s something that we feel is worthy to do.â? Bringing in five cans or boxed items of food will get you a $10 bouquet of flowers. Food then goes to places like Culpeper Presbyterian who offer weekly meals for those in need.
Since 1991, Steve Cones has been involved with Boy Scout Troop 45.
â??Iâ??ve watched them grow up, become Eagle Scouts…some have gone on to the military…itâ??s very satisfying..you get more from them than they get from you. Having said that, Christina Cones has been known to supply a lot of food items at meetings that are very much appreciated.
The beginning of the year will bring changes for Randy Jones who embarks on a new path and Steve and Christina Cones who have taken a leap to expand their business. For now, itâ??s all good.
â??I was so pleased when they shared their interest to buy the shop,â? says Jones. â??They know how to run a flower shop, they are very committed and Iâ??m just so happy that they stepped up to keep it open.â?