Florist offers more than flowers

Posted March 3, 2006
Rhiannon Mim
Sara Briseno holds a pan of chocolate fudge with walnuts which is sold alongside floral arrangements. Located on the corner of D and Third streets, La Verne Florist has been in business for almost 30 years and offers a 10 percent discount to University of La Verne students.

Kristen Chocek
Staff Writer

The La Verne Florist has occupied the corner of D and Third streets in downtown La Verne for more than 28 years. However, many may not know that there is a lot more to this florist then just great flowers.

Not only does it sell beautiful arrangements, but it also has delicious homemade fudge, small gifts, knick-knacks, balloons, a Western Union wiring service and a friendly ghost that resides in their shop.

That’s right, a ghost.
But don’t let this stop you from shopping there. This ghost is actually very friendly and the employees who work there love and accept her.

“At night you can feel someone here with you,” La Verne Florist employee Sara Briseno said. “She is nice though. She doesn’t do anything to hurt us. You can just feel her presence, but it’s not scary.”

Before the storefront was turned into a florist in 1975, it was a clothing consignment store, a pharmacy and a bank. During the time it was a bank, there was a robbery, which led to the death of a woman.

Decades later, it is believed that this woman’s ghost is still present in the shop.

“Sometimes the door alarm will sound when there is nobody walking through the door,” Briseno said.

The employees believe that it is her just letting them know that she is there.

“She protects us,” employee Bridgette Angulo said.

Like the apparition, the La Verne Florist employees are just as friendly.

The La Verne Florist has been under the ownership of Glendora resident Gina Gonzales for the past three years.

However, it is family operated by the Tarin and Briseno families, who have been loyal La Verne residents.

“Because we are family operated, we are really relaxed and laid-back,” Angulo said.

And this relaxed atmosphere is comforting once you step foot into the historical downtown shop.

“You can catch us singing and dancing; we love to have fun here,” Briseno said.

Being a close family, they agree that they can easily relate to their customers, which makes the work experience all the more enjoyable.

“We take a lot of pride in our work,” Briseno said. “We have a lot of loyal customers who come to us, especially the University students.”

For Valentine’s Day, the store had numerous orders from students, as well as parents of ULV students.

The employees admitted that there were many male students coming in at the last minute for flowers on the holiday.

Many students may not be aware of the shop’s great prices, as well as its discounts and other items offered. La Verne Florist even offers a 10 percent student discount with college identification.

Another added bonus to keep in mind is that the shop is very generous with portions, especially when it comes to the fudge.

A half-pound of fudge can cost about $4, which is great for a quick snack.
“I haven’t made it in there yet, but I have heard the fudge is great,” Senior Multimedia Major Joseph Lovallo said.

The shop offers a wide array of flavors, including cookies and cream, sugar-free chocolate, chocolate and walnuts – and best of all – cheesecake.

If you find it difficult to choose, the employees will help you find your personal favorite with their generous free samples.

There’s definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to this little corner shop in Old Town La Verne.

It’s beautiful floral arrangements, the free samples of fudge and the friendly ghost prove that this is not your ordinary flower stop – it’s a piece of La Verne history.

Kristen Chocek can be reached at kristenchocek@aol.com.

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