Curbside Flowers to open in August
The Curbside Chronicle street paper has a home for its flower shop, but it’s still missing one piece to make it the best experience for customers.
The Curbside Chronicle, a program of the Homeless Alliance, will open Curbside Flowers at 522 N. Classen Blvd. this August. The shop is backed by a $180,000 grant from the Great Idea Challenge, a grant competition hosted by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in honor of the foundation's 50th anniversary.
Curbside director Ranya O’Connor said getting the shop opened is a dream come true.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Curbside,” she said. “It’s wild to think about the timeline, going from a simple idea of ‘We want to create extra income opportunities for our employees,’ to us having a brick-and-mortar flower shop.”
In the last couple weeks, the organization has been working in the space as it planted the succulents for the first-ever Father’s Day plant sale. In past years, the organizations sold bouquets at Mother’s Day, but was unable to offer the service this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shop will be a full-service floral shop, so its employees will be making deliveries as well. But the shop doesn’t have a delivery truck, yet, said O’Connor. There will be an online fundraiser launched soon to help make the delivery vehicle a reality.
To prepare for opening as a full-service shop, 15 Curbside vendors were working on their retail floral design certificate at OSU-OKC. Training was halfway completed before the pandemic ended the classes. O’Connor said there are still plans to complete the training when it’s safe to continue.
The flower shop will be one of three programs operated out of the 522 N. Classen space. The entire building will be called The Curbside Center For Social Enterprise and it will house a classroom for Sasquatch Shaved Ice funded by the Arnall Family Foundation and coming soon, a screen-printing program funded by the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Monthly job skills courses and other training will take place in the new space as well.
By selling flowers and magazines, Curbside is creating results in the community, O’Connor said. In 2019, more than 30 Curbside vendors were put into a home of their own, with 754 people in total getting put into homes with the help of the Homeless Alliance’s services.
To help Curbside with a financial donation to open its flower shop, visit curbsideflowers.org. Follow Curbside on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to know when the crowd funding will begin for the delivery vehicle.