Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s February 2018 issue.
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photo by Jana Graham Photography
“O my luve is like a red, red rose,” or so said Robert Burns in his beautiful prose linking love with red roses. As Valentine’s Day draws near and love is in bloom, we sat down with one local florist to learn about his family business. Gainan’s has thrived in Billings for generations, and continues to fill our homes with fragrant roses (and other beautiful home and garden goods).
In 1951, Grant Gainan and his wife, Betty, opened the first Gainan’s Floral in downtown Billings. (If you have a moment, read the full story of Grant and Betty’s journey bringing this store to life on the Gainan’s website.) When asked about his family’s history, Jim Gainan, grandson and president of the store for over six years, remarked that, “It’s all true.” When Grant Gainan approached his wife with his idea to open a floral shop, she famously said, “But I don’t know a petunia from a geranium!” I’m guessing she learned pretty quickly as the store rapidly rose to a popular destination for customers intent on quality goods, services, and gorgeous floral arrangements. Jim credits much of this to his grandfather, who “always had sights on the next thing.”
After expanding and growing into multiple locations (thanks to Jim’s father and uncle) Gainan’s is on the move once again, with Jim leading the business in a retail adventure that will see the Downtown and West End stores merging into one midtown location in the West Park Promenade, set to open March 1, 2018. (It’s business as usual for the Heights location, while the Downtown location will remain open just through Valentine’s Day). Jim explained, “We like the feel of the Promenade with its other small, family-owned stores. It seems like a good fit for us.” He also admitted that it is a huge undertaking to take this type of project on. “It is a daunting task to try to move a 66-year-old business. We want to respect the past and preserve the business, and honor the sacrifice of those 66 years.”
When asked about the new store, Jim’s passion and anticipation were palpable as he explained the wonders coming our way! Though “flowers will remain the core of the business,” Jim plans to include some new, exciting product lines that Billings shoppers may not have seen before, as well as including and improving upon the products that we all know and love at Gainan’s. The new location will have a Sympathy Suite, so mourning loved ones can be directly ushered into the suite right by the main entrance. This demonstrates the Gainan’s level of customer service; he and his family recognize the power and presence of flowers in our lives, and Jim wants to make sure his customers feel that respect and response from his extensive staff. There will also be an expanded Bridal Suite for wedding planning. He noted that the website is undergoing its own makeover to include innovative features and take a more active stance in the business.
As you plan your Valentine’s Day gifts, keep in mind that they can go beyond couples. “A rose from a dad is just as meaningful,” according to Jim and he shared that many more people are buying gifts for their friends and family members. Get a gift someone will treasure from a family-owned, quality-minded, charitable giving, customer service driven business, like our very own Gainan’s.
Did I mention they deliver?
www.gainans.com ♥ 406.245.6436