By RENEE SCHULTZ
You may know Juan Luna as one of the gems of our community. You can always find him any day of the week at his flower stand. Juan’s Flowers is much more than a typical place of business. Behind the colorful bouquets and floral arrangements, candy-like strawberries, local avocados, juicy limes, and the best lemons around, you will find the man who welcomes you with an open heart. You are already his friend, even if you don’t know it, yet.
While visiting Juan each week, I noticed that I always leave happier than when I arrive. He greets me with a smile and kind words, which usually lead to a friendly conversation. The other day, I stayed a little longer and asked him some questions about his business. Like me, I’m sure you’re just as curious to know more about the little stand that’s been there for close to 40 years.
Juan shared his story of how he and his wife, Mimi, started across the street when there was nothing but an empty dirt lot. He pointed to the corner to show me where he stacked up buckets and boards to sell his flowers. Starting wasn’t easy, because he was constantly approached by police who asked him to leave.
To make matters worse, young drivers spun their tires, which forced dirt over his bouquets. He persevered for over a year until a miracle changed everything.
One day his friend, Mr. Payne, came by with some good news. He knew the person who owned the corner lot, and arranged for Juan to legally sell his flowers in a permanent place. This changed everything for Juan, who was grateful for the wonderful blessing. He placed his hand over his heart as he explained, “Mr. Payne was a beautiful man with such kindness and generosity.” Juan and Mimi grew from buckets and boards to the covered canopy they currently use.
Every morning, they load their truck with locally grown, fresh flowers and produce, and head out to their place. It takes them 30 minutes to set everything up and begin selling at 7 a’m. After 6 p.m., they tear everything down and load up for the trip home. Yes, this older couple still accomplishes this task each day!
Mimi also does all the floral arrangements personally. You can see the love that goes into each bouquet. During the holidays, you can find special table arrangements she creates for your home or office.
After asking Juan what he enjoyed about his neighborhood business, he shared, “I love all the beautiful people who come by each day. My arms are open to everybody and my heart is filled with happiness. All the people are like my family – it’s beautiful.” This love for people was apparent to me as I watched his interactions with his customers.
One couple in particular, Rebecca and Mario, look forward to seeing Juan weekly. She said, “His heart is always open for us to come and visit. My respect for this man is great.” We can all agree, Juan is a special part of our neighborhood. He hopes to stay here forever. So, neighbors, come by to see him and you, too, will leave happier than you arrived.
Juan’s Flower stand is located on the corner of Mountain Meadow Road & Champagne Blvd., next to the Park & Ride. It’s open seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. (or later). Tenga buen dia!