West End Update – City of Negaunee

Negaunee florist is growing, in a literal way

Nate Heffron, city manager, city of Negaunee


City manager

City of Negaunee

NEGAUNEE — Like a flower that blooms around springtime, Sarma Floral Co. located at 405 Iron St., in Negaunee, is busting through the soil with new sprouts of opportunity across the Downtown Negaunee landscape!

I first wrote about this floral shop in the spring of 2022. Shailah Pelto may have just opened her doors two years ago, but she wasn’t new to the world of flowers. She had a vision and that vision is now bearing fruit.

Those that didn’t have chance to read that original article might not know what Samara means.

The word is Latin for “seed of the elm,” but its botanical definition includes the dried, winged fruit of certain trees.

Shailah showcases the maple tree, which produces the large double samara fruits that most people colloquially call “helicopters.”

Starting a plant or a tree can be compared to starting any local business.

First, we cultivate it and hope for its survival and second, we encourage its growth.

We are very happy to report that Samara is not only surviving but is now growing.

Shailah is fully immersing herself in phase-two of her business plan. After buying some vacant property in Downtown Negaunee on Rail Street, she plans to construct two hoop houses starting this month.

What’s a hoop hose? I can tell you that it’s not a green house or hot house. According to Shailah they are a “plastic covered, unheated growing space that protect plants from rain, wind, and cold temperatures.”

This creates an environment where growers can cultivate healthier crops and extend their growing season. Shailah hopes to grow annuals such as Snapp Dragons, Zinas, Gladiolas, and Dahlias, among others — but her plans also include perennials.

Her hope is to begin planting for this season. The overall goal of this expansion is to supplement her supply chain, like she has with her current side project of growing roughly 8,000 tulips in her shop’s basement.

By controlling her supply chain, she will be able to control her prices, guarantee quality, and offer locally grown, green-organic products to her customers.

Shailah hopes meet her needs by growing 40% to 60% of her own plants.

This space will also provide new experience for her customers who want to cut their own fresh flowers and one day she hopes to offer some workshops and classes on gardening.

A phase-3 will be coming sometime soon, this will include expanding into the current laundromat, but that story will be for another day.

Great things are coming to fruition in Negaunee’s downtown business environment.

Maybe this is the place for you and your business, come start with us, come grow with us, Forge Your Adventure in Negaunee!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nate Heffron is city manager of the city of Negaunee.


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