Small Business Spotlight: North In Bloom

The first of our Small Business Spotlight series features North In Bloom, a flower shop located in downtown Grand Rapids. Previously known as Flowers by Jeannie, the shop rebranded as North In Bloom when it was purchased by owner Madeline Cook in 2016. We spoke to Madeline about running a small business in the Itasca area and her commitment to making positive change in her community.

Madeline Cook with one of North In Bloom’s floral creations.

1. Tell us about your business. What is your business philosophy?

North In Bloom is a retail flower shop in downtown Grand Rapids. We pride ourselves on providing the highest and freshest quality product. When possible, we support local farms to provide locally grown flowers. We also have a nice selection of house plants and gift items as well. People send flowers for all different occasions, and whether it’s during the best of times or the worst of times, our philosophy is to provide both senders and recipients with a positive, unique, and empathetic experience. We go above and beyond customer expectations to ensure that, whatever occasion we are helping with, their experience is customized to their needs.

2. What is unique about owning and operating a small business in the Itasca area?

Itasca County is so wonderful to live, work and play in! The sense of community and support is so strong here. Plus, we live in the beautiful northland!

3. What advice would you give to other companies looking to get involved in the community?

Find where your passion lies and where you can make the most impact and reach out to the organizations in that area.

4. Why are you passionate about your commitment to United Way’s Community Investment Fund?

For me, my passion lies in so many areas. I was drawn to United Way for that reason. The impact through United Way has a broad reach in our community. They have their own sense of community within our community to help all in need.

5. What is something interesting or surprising that most people don’t know about you?

The shop’s name, North In Bloom, is a gentle nod to my maternal grandparents. My grandma’s maiden name was Bloom and they owned a flower shop named ‘Always in Bloom’. I have a few memories of going there when I was little.

6. What would your older self tell your younger self?

Oh goodness, there are so many things I could say! Invest your time into where your values are. That is by far the most fulfilling way to live.

7. Is there a quote or saying that guides or inspires you?

Ever since I was younger, I have been drawn to the Serenity Prayer. I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person but the philosophy behind the words really speaks to me – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” To me, it means that we are in charge of our destiny and making the best lives we can for ourselves. You must be intentional and courageous to live your life the way you want.

Our Small Business Spotlight series highlights locally-owned small businesses that support United Way’s work in the community through the Small Business 365+ program. Visit uwlakes.org/get-involved/companies to learn more about how your company can support United Way through sponsorships, workplace giving programs, and more.