WAYZATA — Armed with buckets full of fresh-cut flowers and wearing bright orange shirts, Lesa and Colin Fenwick, along with volunteers and employees from Candlelight Floral & Gifts, wandered around downtown Wayzata hanging out free flowers to everyone they ran into on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

“It’s one of our favorite days of the year,” Lesa said. “We’re looking to giving out even more flowers next year.”

Volunteers and staff gave each person they ran into two bouquets of flowers, one for themselves and one to give to someone else to pass on the gesture.

Candlelight Floral handed out 160 bouquets in one hour on Oct. 23.

The event was part of Petal It Forward, a national event that got its start in 2015 by the Society of American Florists as a way to promote floral businesses and brighten the day of unsuspecting folks, according to the society’s website. Florists from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Colombia participate in the annual event.

Lesa said a recent study shows 80% of Americans like to receive flowers and 88% of Americans like to give flowers “just because.”

Lesa likes to participate in Petal it Forward “Because it makes me feel good,” she said.

“One year we caught a lady on the way to the cemetery and she couldn’t afford to buy any flowers so she was crying as we were giving them to her,” Lesa said.

This year, they caught a woman on her way to visit her aunt who was grateful to have something to bring her, Lesa said.

Candlelight Floral & Gifts has participated in Petal It Forward since it began in 2015, which is the same year Lesa and Colin took over ownership of the store. There are a few area shops in the Lake Minnetonka area that also participated, including Len Busch Roses in Plymouth and Victoria Rose Floral in Victoria, the society’s website said. Lesa recommends that people who are interested in the event reach out to their local florists and tell them about it.

Candlelight Floral & Gifts gets its flowers from several sources — most of the flowers are Minnesota grown, with around 75% in the summer and 60% in the winter grown locally. The flowers it gave away during Petal It Forward were donated by Len Busch Roses. Jason Lenz and Ray Spear from Len Busch Roses were out with Candlelight Floral & Gifts on Wednesday giving away flowers in Wayzata.

Candlelight Floral & Gifts, 850 Lake St., has been in business for more than 50 years. The Fenwicks bought the store in 2015. According to Lesa, 80% of their business is fresh-cut flowers, but they also sell houseplants and gift items such as chocolates and candles.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.


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