BUTTE — At Christmas, Santa has his workshop. But here in Butte on Valentine’s Day, there’s another workshop at the Wilhelm Flower Shoppe, and they’ve been making bouquets for family, friends, and lovers for over 90 years.
“It’s so nice, this is like our busiest time of year. Our designers are just working so incredibly hard to get all the flowers busted out,” said delivery driver Chanse Pierce.
Chanse expects he’ll make more than 50 flower deliveries this Valentine’s Day. Wilhelm’s has been operating at the corner of Montana Street and Broadway since 1927. Diann Hall took over the business in 1988 and still enjoys her work.
“My favorite is just doing something different every day, making a different arrangement, being around people,” she said.
Much of the flower magic happens in the cavernous basement of the building that was first built in 1898. It once was a car lot for Model T's.
“Because I have this great big door. That’s where the Model T's were taken in and out,” said Hall.
Many among the staff have decades of experience and bring their creativity to designing the hundreds of bouquets they’ll be selling on Valentine’s.
“Some people, we’ll start with their taller flowers and go to their smaller ones; everybody is different, some people will green before, some will green after. I think is just your eye, what you see,” said designer Laurie Putnam.
And like many old, historic buildings in Butte, the employees here claim, yes, there is a ghost here.
“Yeah, my dog will come down and just stare down the hall. He sees something, something’s down there, yeah, he sees it every morning. I’ll say, ‘did they come and say hi?’ yeah,” said Putnam.