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Poca business budding with space


Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Published: Friday, July 07, 2000
Page: P01
Byline: Tommy R. Atkinson

METRO STAFF Diana Bailey has a nice problem: Too much space.

"My mom said how are we going to keep it full?," said Bailey. "It keeps me busy trying to buy stuff and fill it up. It takes awhile to get things organized like you want it." Walker's Flower Basket in Poca has a new address and more importantly a brand new building. Walker's Flower Basket moved from the old Poca Hardware building at 145 Main St., where they had been since 1986, into the newly constructed 5,000-square-foot facility at 164 Main St. "We just have a better selection of what we carried before," said Bailey, who along with husband Paul, has owned the flower shop since 1985. "We can do things more efficiently. We carry a large selection of gift items and floral arrangements and specialty items. We can display a lot better.

"We may expand the gift items in the future. I think our workroom seems as big as the [old] building up there. We had expanded so much we needed the space. They [employees] like it because it's spacious and things are now organized. In the old building, we had to bring the floral arrangements outside where we do business. We outgrew that building about four or five years ago." Bailey said their customers have adjusted well to the move.

"Some of them have said it's a major improvement," she said. "We had a lot of people in just browsing and seeing what all we've got. We've really been busy." The Baileys started construction on the new building last September and moved in Feb. 21, 2000.

"We've done all the building work," said Paul Bailey. "Our son [Paul Jr.] does a lot of remodeling work [and] was the main man on the job.

We hired out the block work and dry wall and everything else we did ourselves.

"We're about 95 percent [finished]. Just a few odds and ends to take care of. We didn't have any blueprints on the building. We just had in our mind what we wanted. We're blessed. I couldn't tell you the compliments [we've had]. A lot of the wholesalers that come in say you've got one of the bigger flower shops." Phyllis Walker, Diana's mother, started the business in 1976 with one location in Poca and have since added a branch in Nitro in 1995.

Walker still works at the flower shop 30 hours a week.

"We should have done it years ago," said Walker of constructing a new building. "[I'm] tickled to death. We needed bigger space. I'm glad it happened during my working days. They're [employees] really glad we did get a bigger space. We had an open house and our response was really good." Steve Turnbull, who's worked at Walker's Flower Basket part time since 1976 and now full time since January as a designer, said he loves the extra room.

"You get lost back there," he said. "There's a lot more room to work.

You have the walk-in cooler and a bigger selection. It's airy." Diana Bailey said she's glad the move is finally over.

"We just like to thank all of our customers for their support," she said. "We want to thank all of our employees that put up with us. They had to work some long hours."

To contact reporter Tommy R. Atkinson, call 348-1733 or e-mail at tatkinson@cnpapers.com.

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