Best Wishes Floral and Indulge and Bloom, two local gay-owned florists, offer unique floral arrangements and services for weddings and receptions.
Even in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard, Best Wishes Floral and Indulge and Bloom can transport your wedding to a tropical paradise. From bouquets and corsages to full venue decorations, these two Twin Cities-based companies are serving up the very best in floral arrangements so your wedding can bloom in style.
Open since 1986, Best Wishes Floral was purchased by Frank Bohlander and Mark Hall in 2006 when the previous owners retired. Bohlander had been working in the industry since he was 13 years old, and he was eager to own his own shop.
“My design style is an amalgamation of various styles and ideas that I have learned over the years. It tends to be very organic with natural materials and colors, creating rich and textual designs. We use as many locally grown products as practical to create fresh long-lasting arrangements,” Bohlander says.
While Bohlander managed and designed for a floral shop for 15 years, Hall had less experience in the industry. After retiring from his previous position in the health care information systems field, Hall decided it was time for a change. Hall and Bohlander, who have been together for more than 28 years, bring different skills to the table, making Best Wishes Floral a successful business.
“We have been an A+ rated member of the BBB since 2006. We were an honorable mention for Quorum’s 2019 Business of the Year,” Bohlander says. “We have been voted Best Florist and Best Gift Shop in Golden Valley for the last three years in the Sun Post Reader’s Choice Awards. I have also received several personal floral design awards.”
Best Wishes Floral offers a full service wedding flower source for bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, ceremony decorations, reception decorations, and everything in between. They also offer delivery and installation or can pack orders for pick-up.
“We approach each couple/wedding individually and will customize your order to meet your needs and budget, whether it’s $100 or $10,000,” Bohlander says. “As a wedding resource, I would say we have about one same-sex marriage to every 10 mixed-sex marriage. We have many walk-in customers that I’m sure are representative of our community’s mix.”
Bohlander says their number one goal is to always be the best florist they can be. “We pride ourselves on our customer service and quality products. We are open and honest about who we are and are engaged in our community on many fronts—from supporting the Golden Valley Pride Festival to our schools, KBEM-Jazz88 radio, our local food shelf (PRISM) and by supporting groups like Reclaim and Our Justice,” he says.
You can admire the “ALL ARE WELCOME HERE” sign in their front window, Bohlander says. “So I’d have to say it’s important to represent the LGBT community and do so in a positive and interactive way,” he adds.
Like Bohlander, Raed Kakish, owner of Indulge and Bloom, has been in the industry for a long time.
“Floral arranging came naturally to me from an early age. As friends began getting married, I would be asked to do their flowers. I was studying pre-med at the University of Minnesota during this time, and before I knew it, I was so busy doing floral design that I decided to take a break from studies and pursue this new path that was opening up before me,” Kakish says.
Kakish says his goal for Indulge and Bloom was not to be the average mom-and-pop shop. Instead, he wanted to offer people a store with exotic, unique, and fun arrangements. Indulge and Bloom has been awarded “Best Exotic Flowers” and “Best Wedding/Event Planner” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine Diamond awards. They were also voted “Best Modern Wedding Chicago” in Borrowed and Blue, and “Best Lush Flowers” by Minnesota Monthly.
“We are your go-to, full-service shop for weddings and events. We can create your wedding from scratch; we meet with you and learn your tastes and style, preview our vast rental catalogue (candelabras, vases, dance floor), discuss save-the-date and invitations, and depending on your budget, we provide stunning floral for the wedding ceremony all the way up to the full-service package (flowers, entertainment, food service, wedding planner—you name it),” Kakish says.
Indulge and Bloom has always had a solid GLBT client base, Kakish says.
“Since the beginning, we have had a solid clientele consisting of the GLBT community. Even prior to the legalization of marriage for all, we provided floral for many GLBT weddings,” he says.
Kakish says his first business partner was actually his first partner, and the couple even poured homemade soaps, which they sold in their first shop on Hennepin Avenue.
“Supporting the GLBT community is in our core—just like the beautiful variety of exotic flowers allows us to create our amazing arrangements, the wonderful variety of our clientele makes us who we are and strive to be,” Kakish adds.