Donner Flower Shop is the perennial winner of Best Florist in the Source Weekly's annual readers' poll, but no one, especially owner Tanja Rodgers, takes that for granted. During a recent mid-week visit to the bustling shop, workers were intently focused on their individual flowery tasks, pausing only long enough to look up with a friendly smile.
"I'm so proud of the team we have here, from design to customer service and everything else," Rodgers says. "It's great to be part of a wonderful community. Flowers make people happy and we love to deliver happiness on the daily. We're proud to be one of the oldest businesses in Bend."
Donner Flower Shop (no relation to the infamous "Party") has been plying Bend with flowers since 1911, when it was founded by Grace Donner. With a desire to keep it in the family, Rodgers took over the business about three years ago from her mother, Doris Dilday, who ran it for about 40 years.
Rodgers says she and her team of about a dozen pride themselves on "solid delivery daily throughout Central Oregon." Besides a steady flow of walk-in customers, the shop handles floral subscriptions to local businesses and residents, making 20 to 30 deliveries a day. A few extra employees join in during Valentine's Day, Mothers Day and the month of December.
After several locations downtown on Wall Street, the shop has been in its current location for about 12 years, where the basement once housed a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Rodgers' floral philosophy: "Stop and smell the flowers!"
Donner Flower Shop
Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, Sat 9am-3pm
605 NW Newport Ave., Bend
Second place: Flowers by Eryn