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Willow Pointe celebrates 40 years



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Herb and Grace Geisler. (click for larger version)
March 21, 2012 - Ortonville- Willow Pointe Flowers & Gifts has bloomed in four decades in business.

Herb and Grace Geisler are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their store, which first opened as Mill St. Fleur Shoppe in the village (where Brandon Underwriters is now located) on March 1, 1972. A year later, the couple moved into their current building at 425 S. Ortonville Road.

"We didn't anticipate establishing a business like we have today," said Herb. "Without the community support—through good and bad times — we would have never gotten this far."

Herb Geisler has been a florist since 1962. When he and Grace moved to the Ortonville area from Warren, local residents asked them to set up a florist shop here and they obliged, offering just flowers and a few small gift items at first. The response was overwhelming.

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"We sold out of almost all merchandise on holidays through the first year—our shelves would be picked bare," said Grace.

When they bought the now 150-year-old building at 425 S. Ortonville Road in 1973, they had about 1,800 square feet of space and room to grow. They added on to the building over the years, and the store is now 4,000 square feet, with six rooms on the lower level and four on the upper level. As Grace says, "10 rooms to discover and explore."

Willow Pointe has literally thousands of items in those rooms, including baby gifts, inspirational items, crystal and decorative glass, home décor and collectibles galore, as well as the ever popular flowers.

"What's kept us going through the years is diversity," said Grace. "The other things that have helped us is listening to our customers and having really good help."

Willow Pointe's employees are long-term, 15 years or more on average, and Manager Michele Baxter started working at the shop in 1975.

Herb and Grace, who have two children, Gregory and Monica, are thankful for residents who shop locally, not just at Willow Pointe, but also at the other area businesses.

"If it wasn't for the community accepting us and patronizing our store, we wouldn't be here," said Grace. "We hope to serve our customers for many years to come."

Willow Pointe Flowers & Gifts, 425 S. Ortonville Road, is open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Details: 248-627-4350.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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