Everything is coming up roses for Winnetka’s Allison Cassato and Michelle McKenna who recently took a leap of faith by taking ownership of the former Chestnut Street Florist in August of 2019.
Cassato’s right-brained creativity in partnership with McKenna’s left-brained sensibility makes their business—Chestnut Street Flowers—one that blends artistry with unmatched customer service. Best of all, the meeting of the minds means that similar to the business, each woman is flourishing.
For Mckenna, the day-to-day bookkeeping is enhanced by the beauty that flowers bring. “Running a business is one thing, but learning about the world of plants is a whole new experience,” McKenna shares. “Thankfully, I have the best teacher and have learned so much about how and why certain flowers pair well with one another. There is so much more to this business than I ever knew. Each and every day, I tap into my imagination and learn something new which is incredibly fun.”
For Cassato, the chance to be in charge has been life-altering for this creative type. “I feel so fortunate to call this space my own. I have spent years teaching local floral design classes and running my own garden container business. The experience, however, of being at the helm of my own brick and mortar space and learning how to run a business has been nothing short of amazing,” Cassato shares.
Each week, the pair spends a great deal of time sourcing unique antique vases and containers to store their picture-perfect blossoms. They are believers in the power of the premium flower, making bi-weekly trips to wholesalers, discovering how flowers across the globe add joy to one’s home.
“I love the whole process. When I visit the wholesaler, I get to see what’s special and what is in season. I never tire of seeing what comes from different parts of the world; I can’t wait to get back to the store to begin arranging what I’ve found,” Cassato exclaims. “I typically start with a focal flower, adding greenery for height and dimension. I love spray roses and look for unifiers to tie it all together. Best of all, our business makes people happy. Whether someone just wants to pop in and ask us to put together the perfect bouquet or talk about floral arrangements for a special event, the job is always fun.”
As for customer service, Cassato and McKenna even make home deliveries, adding a personalized touch that is seldom offered these days. Deliveries often turn into a chance to reconnect with neighbors and friends, bringing cheer and joy along with beauty to each and every interaction.
Chestnut Street Flowers is located at 547 Chestnut Avenue in Winnetka. For more information, visit chestnutstreetflowers.com/home.