The official start of spring was on March 20th. Even though the weather has been warm and sunny and the snow is melting away, most of Aroostook County’s citizens still haven’t felt the spring spirit. Well, look no further than your local florist shop, Cook Florist! Even though the snow is still slushy and the sky still gray, Cook Florist has the spring pick-me-up you’ve been needing these past winter months.
The shop is owned by Karen Duncan and managed by her daughter Megan Allen. Karen is a third-generation floral designer, while Megan is a fourth-generation floral designer. The mother and daughter duo, along with a few staff members, have been diligently working under COVID regulations for the past year or so, from wearing their masks to making sure everything is clean and sanitary for the customers. Cook Florist is the perfect place to get a lovely floral arrangement for yourself or a loved one you haven’t seen in a while.
Karen said, “I grew up in the florist world. My grandparents Sid and Edna Cook started Cook Florist in 1943. My parents carried on the tradition. I always said I would never become a florist. My parents worked seven days a week and I did not want that. In 1983, I found myself unemployed with rent due, so I begged my mother for a job. Turns out I loved the work and was good at it.” Megan had a slightly different path toward becoming a florist. She said, “I became a florist to continue the family business when I realized I wanted to stay in Presque Isle after high school.” After both mother and daughter decided to become florists, they went to get certified for the job.
“I learned a lot of design from my co-workers and my mom. But I wanted more. I attend many professional florist shows. Maine State Florists and Growers Association offered certification classes in a program titled ‘Professional Certified Florist.’ I did earn that,” Karen said.
Karen also got certified through a harder program called “Maine Master Floral Designer.” Karen said, “Earning that title makes me want to excel with each design.”
Megan also got certified through the “Maine Master Floral Designer” program.
Spring is one of the busiest times of year for Cook Florist. From Easter to Mother’s Day, the shop is bustling with customers and flowers. Even though the shop hasn’t gotten a lot of wedding and party orders, they are still busy with orders. Not even a global pandemic can stop people from enjoying some cheerful flowers and well-crafted dish gardens.
What can you expect to find at Cook’s? Well, now that the weather is warming up and the snow is melting, you can find a large variety of planted hydrangeas, bulb plants such as tulips and hyacinths, mixed bulb plants and calla lilies. You can also find many well-crafted spring arrangements, from lovely roses and mixed colored tulips to bright Gerber daisies and beautiful irises. Cook Florist also has many Easter designs ready in their cooler. If blooming arrangements and plants aren’t your style, Cook’s has a wide variety of dish gardens full of perfect indoor plants and large potted plants that can fill any room with beautiful greens to brighten up your winter blues. They even carry a variety of hanging plants if you have an animal that likes to munch on your house plants.
If fresh flowers and plants give you allergies, have no fear for Cook Florist has you covered. At the moment, Cook Florist has a wide variety of silk and permanent arrangements to decorate your home. You can choose bright picnic baskets with colorful flowers and cheerful birds or beautiful wall hangings for your home. The possibilities are endless at Cook Florist. If you don’t have a green thumb and you’re not a huge fan of bright and cheerful permanent arrangements, you can come and check out Cook’s new fake succulent desk arrangements. These fake succulent arrangements will brighten up any dreary office and are perfect for a small desk or shelf. No sunlight or water is needed!
Being a florist is hard work but also comes with great rewards. “My Favorite thing about being a florist is the variety of jobs I do every day. I can go in and design flowers, work with plants and dirt, sit down with the bride and design her perfect day or deliver flowers to a customer. It is never boring,” Karen said.
Even though the work is fun, it can also be hard at times for a designer. “I love this job and my work. It is not always easy. I have sat down with families that have lost a loved one under the worst circumstances. But I want to be there to help. I work at a job I love and I am very lucky to do so.”
If you’d like to check out Cook Florist to buy something or just explore, the store is located at 174 Main St., Presque Isle, Maine 04769. If you have no time to visit the shop, then you can call their number at (207)769-2731 and order an arrangement of your choosing. For more information and to be able to see what they sell, you can also visit their website, www.PresqueIsleflowershop.com.