New business with an old-fashioned flare
Shown above, from left to right, are Fay Mayes, Robin ‘Remmert’ Stafstrom, Michael and Tracy Hartupee.
Once again Elsberry is seeing a change, but it’s not a new park or a new pipeline. No, it’s a new business, Broadway Flowers and Fountain, located at 401 Broadway.
For almost a year now, the building that was once home to the Fourth Street Fountain has been empty, but now a new set of faces have reopened and revamped the historic location, Robin ‘Remmert’ Stafstrom and Fay Mayes.
“I was helping [Robin] at the Elsberry Flower shop and her and I had talked, for a long time, about getting our own shop,” said Mayes. “We looked at a bunch of buildings, but we didn’t want to make a huge investment into just any building. So when Joe and Bobette Shipman, the landlords here, offered us a great opportunity on this place with the condition we kept the fountain part going we took it. They have supported us 100 percent, as has most of the community.”
Mayes went on to explain that Mike had the initial conversation with Bobette Shipman and according to her, they just had to sell Coke products, as all the fountain equipment is hers. From there, Mayes said it just escalated.
“It was like a world wind,” said Stafstrom. “It all just went really quick. Originally we just wanted to do a flower shop, but when we moved in here, it was a perfect – beautiful building. It was latchkey compared to everything else we looked at.”
Both Stafstrom and Mayes said the building didn’t require them to put in a ton of money to get going and between the two of them and Mike, they decided why not offer lunch as well. So now Monday through Saturday, residents of Elsberry can go to Broadway Flowers and Fountain and select from their daily deli menu, as well as from a wide selection of floats, pies and flavored Coke drinks. Every Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. you can expect Mike to be cooking up a storm for their BBQ special.
“The neat thing about all this is the feeling we get when customers come in,” said Stafstrom. “Seeing as we know most of the people that come in and when your out and about and they tell you how well your doing or ask what your having for lunch today. It’s just neat being able to serve the community you know and have them support us.”
Stafstrom went on to say, none of this would have been possible without the help of Mike and the Shipman’s, but also Mayes who has been a close friend and colleague of Stafstrom for years. Between them both they have approximately 50 years of experience in floral arrangements and customer service.
“Before my shop was out of town and you know what they say, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ So being able to now do this in town is just a great feeling,” said Stafstrom. “People seem to be really enjoying our services and we really enjoy serving them.”
One of the key things to their success has been working as a team. According to Mayes, if one needs help the other is right there and seeing that both are still doing deliveries, driving and managing the school buses and other day to day activities, their ability to work side by side has proven it’s weight in gold.
But it’s not just being known throughout the community that has shown success for Stafstrom and Mayes. It’s also the simplicity of their menu and quality of their food. According to Stafstrom, they wanted to put together a menu that was simple, elegant and fast.
“Let’s say the customer works at the bank and only has a certain amount of time available for lunch, we want them to be able to come in, order their food, sit down and enjoy it and be back to work in enough time,” said Stafstrom. “And [Mike], our chef, has many years of experience in fine dining and foods. We are also able to take orders over the phone for those who are more on the go.”
All the pies served at Broadway Flowers and Fountain are made by Kelly Phillips. But Stafstrom explained that whatever combination allows them to give the best pricing to the best quality of product is what they go with. Whether it be home made or purchased from local businesses, they will do what they need to do to maintain their level of excellence.
However, it’s not just the food and drinks that are bringing in customers, or even the flowers, as they are also offering tailor services for weddings, proms or any kind of special occasion requiring dresses and tuxedos.
“We are working with some great vendors,” said Stafstrom. “We have a company in Kentucky we are working with for our dresses and tuxedos and another company we are working with for our flowers, as we do the arrangements here.”
Another service offered by Broadway Flowers and Fountain is being able to deliver items to customers. For those who live in the area, delivery is free. However, for those outside the area there may be a slight charge to cover the cost of gas. Eventually, Stafstrom and Mayes said they would like to venture into event planning for wedding or other special occasions, as Mayes has a background in that as well.
One other thing both Mayes and Stafstrom wanted to make mention of was how customers can not only come in and use their facilities to play cards, checkers or whatever, but they can also reserve it for special gatherings, whether it be bridge club, meetings or receptions.
Broadway Flowers and Fountain is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday’s 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 573-898-5700.