BEDFORD, N.Y. -- With a new marriage, two young boys, a business of her own and an overwhelming triathlon training schedule, South Salem’s Lauren Chillemi hardly needed any more projects on her already crowded plate.
The opportunity to purchase the Bedford Village Flower Shoppe, however, made sound business sense. Chillemi and her husband, Anthony, bought the business on Nov. 30. The business is located at 641 Old Post Road in Bedford.
“I wasn’t in the market for a new business,’’ Chillemi said. “It just fell together.”
- Who : Lauren and Anthony Chillemi
- What : New Owners of the Bedford Village Flower Shoppe
- Learn more: On the business website
Chillemi joined the business in late August as a part-time employee. She already owned her own business, Simply Gardens, which supports clients with garden projects, everything from setting up containers and sowing seeds to maintaining plants and harvesting crops.
Chillemi knew about the the flower shop, which is where her mother purchased her flowers and she used for her wedding in early August. The previous owner, Maureen Laning, asked Chillemi to join her team. “She wanted me to start immediately, and I said sure, things were kind of quiet with my own business at that time,’’ Chillemi said.
Shortly afterwards, Laning stunned Chillemi and said she would be retiring. Even more surprising, Laning asked Chillemi to purchase the store.
“I was surprised she was selling the business,’’ Chillemi said. “I knew it would be an amazing opportunity for us. Maureen owned the business for 16 years and she’s a wonderful owner and floral designer The circumstances are bittersweet, because I loved Maureen.”
Bedford Village Flower Shoppe offers items for weddings, special events and everyday purposes, and offers delivery. Chillemi said the shop distinguishes itself from competitors with its high-end flowers and arrangements. “We keep everything at a premium,’’ she said. “It helps us design our incredible arrangements. Our products are mostly the same. I’m bringing a new line of products from Little Flower Soap Company in Michigan that offers handmade soap and spa products.”
The business fits nicely into Chillemi’s already established career profile. She earned a degree from the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and has owned Simply Gardens for nearly three years. “I’ve been doing flower arranging with live plants, and now I’ll be doing it with cut flowers,’’ Chillemi said. “It’s an easy transition.” For now, she plans to operate Simply Gardens out of the flower shop.
Anthony, who manages the commercial division for a painting company, will work behind the scenes. Lauren will oversee daily operations.
Lauren and Anthony married in early August, two weeks after both triathletes completed the 140.6 mile Ironman race in Lake Placid. Anthony finished in 11 hours and 22 minutes. Lauren finished in 13 hours. It was the first full distance Ironman for both athletes.
The couple vacationed in Hawaii in October, and now have a business to run, boys (ages 8 and 6) to raise and races to run. Life has come at them fast. They just keep going faster.
“We just keep moving on and plowing forward,’’ Lauren said. “We swap off a lot. We’re finding that compromise makes the schedule work.”
For more information, click here to visit the Bedford Village Flower Shoppe website or contact them at 914-234-7180.
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