YORK-Green thumbs have a new option for buying plants and flowers for their homes and gardens.
Husband and wife team April Hoercher and Ian Staples, along with their business partner Bryan Sprospon, opened Friendly Grow Supply on February 1 and April Flowers nine days later within the same location at 119 Wolf Trap Rd. in Yorktown.
Hoercher said that she and her husband were both born into families who appreciated cultivating nature. “I practically grew up in a garden with my grandparents, and my husband’s grandmother was big on horticulture,” said Hoercher. “Now, I’m a florist by trade.”
Hoercher had worked as a professional florist for several years prior to opening her own business.
“Before here, I worked at Pollard’s Florist off of Harpersville Road in Newport News,” said Hoercher. She said she gained most of her learning experience years ago prior to working at Pollard’s Florist when she was employed as the shop manager for Jeff’s Flower’s, which is also in Newport News.
Friendly Grow Supply is described as a “one-stop grow shop,” and offers lighting accessories, soils, plant nutrients, and other gardening supplies. April’s Flowers operates as a full-service florist.
The owners of Friendly Grow Supply and April’s Flowers have known each other for more than 20 years. Bryan Sprospon also owns Caribbean Pool in Newport News and Staples works with him at the pool maintenance and staffing company.
“We go way back, and I worked as a lifeguard for Caribbean when I was 19,” said Hoercher.
Business has been steadily increasing since the trio opened the storefront three months ago. Located off of Wolf Trap Road across from Wawa and behind Grafton Cleaners, Hoercher said the building had been vacant for quite a while before they moved into the storefront.
To catch the eye of travelers on George Washington Memorial Highway and Wolf Trap Road, they decided to paint the exterior bright purple with an orange stripe.
“It had been a plain, white, blank building for years, and we needed to let the county know we were here,” said Hoercher.
In addition to selling fresh cut floral arrangements and plants from the shop, Horcher also provides delivery and event setup.
“I handle it from top to bottom,” said Hoercher. “First, we discuss exactly what they need. After making their arrangements, I deliver them, and set up for the occasion.”
From anniversary and birthday parties to holiday celebrations and funerals, Hoercher has worked in an array of environments and carries customers’ memorable experiences with her long after an event has passed.
“Not long ago, I set up arrangements for an Indian engagement party,” said Hoercher. “The event was set up very artistically within a house that had multiple creative arrangements. It was beautiful.”
April’s Flowers also sells accessories and small-gift items such as crystal bracelets, teddy bears, and tie-dyed T-shirts.
“I have a lot of friends who make accessories, so they’ve helped me out a lot along the way,” said Hoercher.