Karen Morgan Jenkins
Since July 2013, Karen Morgan Jenkins has owned Hoover Florist. She grew up in the business, helping both her grandparents and her mother through three florist and nursery related family businesses. Jenkins and her staff offer a wide variety of Valentine’s Day floral, plant and gift basket options. Photo by Rebecca Walden.
A third generation florist, Karen Morgan Jenkins likes to say she was born into the business.
Her grandparents owned and operated the former Butler’s Flowers of Homewood in the 1950s, then launched another family business – Wayside Nurseries in Panama City. Her mother, Bebe Butler Morgan, opened Hoover Florist on April Fool’s Day in 1981.
The seed for Jenkins’ eventual occupation was planted in the holiday seasons of her childhood, when she’d accompany her mother down to the beach to assist her grandmother during the peak season.
It led to Jenkins fostering three decades of working alongside her mother in the florist business. In July 2013, shortly after her mother passed, Jenkins took over Hoover Florist full time.
“There is nothing more rewarding than making a beautiful arrangement and seeing the reaction as the recipient receives it,” said Jenkins, who is busily preparing for Valentine’s Day. “I think that the best part of my job is making people smile! Creating beautiful arrangements, continuing to learn new design techniques and see all of the beautiful new varieties of flowers that come out every year, those are the reasons that I continue to do what I do every day.”
In helping her clients, both established and new, prepare for Valentine’s Day, which this year falls on a Saturday, Jenkins said she cannot emphasize enough the importance of ordering early. Hoover Sun readers take note – by the time our print edition hits your mailbox, it’s time to order.
“I would recommend customers call in their Valentine’s flowers two weeks ahead as it is very hard to predict what customers will want and we would rather make sure that we have enough flowers purchased for everyone’s order,” said Jenkins. “I would also encourage a lot of the guys out there, the ones who like to have flowers delivered to their special someone so that everyone else sees them – consider delivering them on Thursday this year instead of Friday. It is a nice way not to be like everyone else and to stand out a little more.”
For those considering what to send their Valentine outside the typical spray of roses or chocolates, Hoover Florist also designs and delivers everything from plush animals, scented candle baskets, snack and other goodie baskets, as well as a wide variety of plants.
The shop has delivered on all manner of custom client requests before, and expects that this year will be no exception.
“We had one young man preparing for a proposal, who brought us a box he wanted filled with roses,” said Jenkins. “The card read, ‘Will you?’ and on the inside, with the engagement ring in the center, a card read, ‘marry me’? We truly have the most loyal and wonderful customers in the world, and we love sharing in these memorable moments!”
1905 Hoover Court