The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Relocated University Florist faces Valentine’s Day rush

Ivy Rose Ball
Ciana Thompson, a junior horticulture major, aids in the production of bouquets.

The University Florist is experiencing its first Valentine’s Day rush since relocating to the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Lab last September.

Mississippi State University’s University Florist has sold fresh flowers, gifts and ornamental plants since 1928. Previously located on Lee Boulevard, the store moved due to the construction of new dining options in the area. Retail items are now available at a pop-up shop within the MAFES Sales Store at 925 Stone Blvd.

Lauren Baskin, store manager and senior horticulture major, has been preparing to take over the store from the previous manager, Lynette McDougald. She said the move to A.B. McKay has been bittersweet.

“I do miss the old location and the tradition about it,” Baskin said. “I really enjoy having the space, and it’s pretty out here. It’s calming and like a little escape, so it’s good. But I do miss being in the center of campus.” 

Baskin said the store’s business began slowly at the new location and bouquets were reduced to $18.78 to increase sales and to remind customers of the store’s presence. She said Valentine’s Day has brought in more orders. Since the shop is no longer within walking distance, the store offers free campus deliveries to accommodate student orders.

“It has been a challenge because I’m a full-time student,” Baskin said. “It has really shown me what I’m capable of. It is such an honor to be able to run this store. I’ve worked here since I was a freshman, so I kind of knew what to expect if I had to be thrown into the fire. For preparation, I was okay.” 

London Hunt, the florist’s marketing manager and a senior horticulture major, said she has been working at the University Florist for a year and a half and has been busy preparing flowers for everyone who wants to spread love and joy on Valentine’s Day. 

Hunt said the University Florist staff has prepared meetings to discuss marketing for Valentine’s Day and has posted different floral designs on social media to showcase their inventory.

Hunt said working at the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Lab has been challenging since the florist no longer has a permanent retail space.

“It’s kind of hard for our customers to realize they can’t come to the shop anymore how they used to,” Hunt said. “So, it’s really hard to express that, working there, when people call and ask if they can come in and look at our McCarty pottery and stuff, but we’re not really allowed to do that anymore. That’s the only downside about it.”

Despite the difficult adjustment, there are some aspects of the move that hunt enjoys.

“I like that we can park there because on campus we weren’t allowed to park near the flower shop, we had to walk really far,” Hunt said. “It is nice that we have a great view out there. It’s pretty, big and spacious with lots of room to store everything. The coolers are big, so we could have a bunch of flowers if we needed to for big events.”

Mallory Morris, store associate and a sophomore interior design major, said that traveling to A.B. McKay comes with difficulties.

“Being a full-time student, it’s really hard to commute to the job so it was really nice that it was in the middle of campus,” Morris said. “To just walk to my job and then stay for however long and then walk to class, that wasn’t having to accommodate for driving to work.” 

Morris has been working at the florist since last spring. She said the relocation has changed her work hours which has affected her paycheck. Having to accommodate driving and parking time has been a struggle, but Morris said she enjoys the expanded space at A.B. McKay, especially given the busy work environment near Valentine’s Day.

“I really like the new location, we have a lot more space and I feel like we all can be designing at one time like now for Valentine’s Day,” Morris said. “It’s nice to be able to have everyone in the shop at once. Whereas when we were on campus, the shop was a lot smaller.” 

Morris said Baskin has made the move a lot smoother due to her positivity. She said Baskin is well organized and performs well under pressure.  

“Even when it’s hard and stressful like now for Valentine’s Day, she makes me excited to come to work,” Morris said. 

Deliveries can be placed by calling the University Florist at 662-325-3585.

About the Contributor
Kaitlin Mapp
Kaitlin Mapp, Contributing Writer
Kaitlin Mapp is a senior communication major. Kaitlin is currently a contributing writer for The Reflector.
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *