Opera House Floral & Gifts Is a Dream Come True For Owner Carrie Hoffman
Writer / Mary Lowry
When Opera House Floral and Gifts, 101 E. Main Street in Winamac, opened on June 26, 2017, it was a decades-old dream come true for owner Carrie Hoffman.
“I’d seen this building years ago,” she remembers. “I’d just said, ‘Oh my gosh,’ because at the time, I was going to floral design school right after high school, and I thought that the building would be a great location for a flower shop.”
More than forty years later, opening a floral business in such a historic building marked off a huge dream of Hoffman’s. After admiring the building for so many years, when space opened up in it, she knew she had to jump on it.
“There ended up being several other locations that opened up at the same time, but this one opened up in a building that’s an anchor for the town,” she says. “It would’ve been such a waste for this building to be torn down.”
The building, built in 1882, originally housed the Vurpillat’s Opera House. It was a cultural staple for the community, bringing countless live performances, including readings from Indiana native James Whitcomb Riley, a famous poet who wrote extensively about life in the Hoosier State. Today, it is recognized by the Indiana Historical Society as a historical site. After the opera house closed, the 14,000 sq. ft. building has held a huge variety of businesses, including a bank, a butcher shop and numerous pharmacies. The history that comes with the building is something that Hoffman enjoys learning about from her customers.
“It’s pretty amazing how people step back in time, and they remember it as a drug store and all kinds of things,” she says. “It’s neat to get all their stories coming in.”
Hoffman also cites the community as being hugely influential in the success of the shop thus far.
“They’ve really helped me. They help me get my name out there,” she adds.
The store also holds immense sentimental value for Hoffman. Years ago, her mother took a photograph of her in a parade, where she was in front of the opera house. Since her mother passed away five years ago, the shop opening up in 2017 became even more special.
“She would’ve loved to see this all come to pass, to see it actually open,” Hoffman says fondly. “She would’ve been so proud seeing me succeed in my dreams.”
The sentimental impact the store has for Hoffman is the thing that brings her the most joy about the business. Her joy and excitement about it are reflected in her employees as well as in the environment of the store. Widely recognized as warm and inviting, employees share in the love of serving the community.
“It’s a good environment,” Hoffman says. “People just have smiles on their faces all over the place.”
Smiles from customers are found even more regularly than smiles from employees. Opera House Floral and Gifts offers a huge variety of options to send to someone you love. From floral arrangements to fruit baskets to even spa gift baskets, there’s something for everybody to find. They offer only the best fresh flowers to place into arrangements in order to ensure the most beautiful products for their customers.
“A lot of people seem to think that we don’t deliver outside of Winamac,” Hoffman says. “We deliver to Culver, Bass Lake and Knox. We have a wide array of delivery from Francesville, Medaryville, Royal Center and more.”
For those ordering flowers within Winamac, there is no delivery fee. For those who are looking to get flowers delivered outside of Winamac, there is a small fee. For the full list of delivery areas, customers are invited to visit them online at operahousefloral.com.
Opera House Floral and Gifts is open Monday through Saturday. Their hours Monday through Friday are 9 am to 5:30 pm, and their Saturday hours are from 9 am to 1:30 pm. For extended holiday hours, check out their Facebook page.
Opera House Floral and Gifts is located at 101 E. Main St. in Winamac, Ind. You can give them a call at 574-946-1544 to place an order or to get more information.