Vicki Hughes-McFall first started working with flowers shortly after graduating from Campbell High School in the summer of 1966. Ron McFall remembers that Vicki was very creative and had a natural eye for color, which she credits getting from her mother Iva Hughes.
Ron and Vicki, who grew up as neighbors and became high school sweet hearts, were married in 1968 as Ron pursued his law enforcement career with the San Jose Police Department and Vicki continued working in the floral industry with larger floral shops in the San Jose area. Before too long, Vicki found herself regularly making floral arrangements for her church, as well as being asked by a number of friends and relatives to do their wedding flowers.
After sons Mark and Scott were born the McFall’s started looking for a better place to live and raise their children. They were on vacation and visited Calaveras County and immediately fell in love with the community. Ron applied to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department and after completing the testing process was hired in May of 1979.
The McFall’s moved to Arnold and shortly thereafter third son Bradley was born. Vicki’s parents (Iva & Cecil Hughes) soon moved to Arnold and open Daffy’s Roost Restaurant in Cedar Center.
Soon thereafter, in the adjacent side of Daffy's Roost was born a florist called Blooms And Things owned and operated by Carol Jones. As you can imagine, it didn't take long for Vicki to take up interest in working for Carol while simultaneously working for her mother at Daffy's Roost.
After about a year of working for Carol, Vicki and Ron along with Iva Hughes (Vicki's Mother) bought Blooms And Things Florist from Carol and set opening date for August 1st 1985.
Those who were around in Arnold back then may remember that it was not at all uncommon for people to pick up lunch and a bunch of Margaret Daisies for the office. As time went on, the flower shop grew and the need for more space and more family help became apparent as Vicki's mother, Iva, found herself working both her restaurant and the floral shop at the same time.
As the 1990's approached, Vicki’s parents sold their restaurant and Blooms & Things moved to the Junction Building more popularly known in the 80's as "Whiskey River” (formerly the location of the old Arnold Post Office). This move increased building space by three times and the staff included Vicki, Ron, Iva, Cecil, all three sons, aunts, uncles, brothers, sister, nieces and nephews. It was during this phase that Blooms and Things partnered with Hallmark Corp. carrying Cards and gifts in their product line.
By 1994, Blooms & Things needed to move (yet again) to a larger location to accommodate the influx. So the decision was made to take up location in the old Apple Wood Liquor Store where there was an 11 door walk-in cooler (a florist’s dream). By this time, Vicki’s three Sons, her Sister, her Brother, and nieces, all became active at different times as business continued to grow.
In 1997, Vicki got a call from the owner of Berganz Florist (i.e. Jim Berganz) in Angels Camp with a proposal to take up business in his location as he developed other interests. After reflecting on the phone call and the knowledge that we were already delivering flowers almost everyday to the Angels Camp area, we took him up on the offer as it made sense since we thought that the gas prices of that time where costly enough to warrant a flower shop there. Hence, Vicki’s Son, Mark, began work in that part of Calaveras County to build business and customer relations.
In 1999, we saw an opportunity to move our Angels Camp store down the street from the Berganz building to the Old A&W Rootbeer building that was vacant at the time.
This move proved to be a good move and business began to increase immediately due to its center of town proximity and visibility.
As the next couple of years went by, a new shopping center began to take shape directly across the street from us. We knew at the time that this was going to be good for us as we began to notice customer walk-in traffic increasing due to all the construction workers that would stop by after work to get their significant others bouquets. By the time actual businesses started taking up location across the street, our Angels Camp store began to outpace our Arnold store in sales.
As Blooms & Things moved into the 21 century a trusted and talented employee by the name of Tammy Zeyen came into the picture and began working with Mark in Angels Camp.
Tammy's design ability and knowledge of wedding work became an asset for the Blooms & Things Company. A few years thereafter, this began to free up Mark to help Vicki and Ron on the internal workings of the Blooms & Things structure.
As time continued to move, and after running stats for deliveries into the San Andreas area, the facts began to show that we had delivered in San Andreas a couple of hundred times in only a few months. Hence, due to many of the same circumstances that brought us into the Angels Camp area, in early July of 2006 the decision was made to open a third location in the San Andreas area: and an opening date was set for August 1st marking our 21st year in business and 3rd location.
While our first year in business in San Andreas looked promising with brisk sales, the United States economy began a downward spiral that greatly effected our San Andreas location. The economy was simply crashing hard. In the weeks leading up to our decision to close our San Andreas store we experienced unprecedented slowness. In fact, there was one week near the end where we didn’t see a single customer for a solid week. On August 1st 2008, exactly two years after first opening, we closed our San Andreas location.
As the United States economy began to even get worse, a growing concern that we may end up losing our Arnold store too began to weigh on our minds & hearts. I say hearts because this is the location where it all started. So many memories through so many different times of our lives as a family. The shop was apart of it all...through the good....and through the bad (the passing of Cecil & Iva / the shop fire of 1995) ....it was always considered the safe zone.
In an effort to make it through the tough economical climate, we made a decision to downsize our Arnold store located at AppleWood Center and move to a smaller location at the Barry Ward building . The year was early 2009. However, by the time 2010 arrived, it was realized that we weren’t going to make it through the tough economical downturn. In November 2010, we closed our final version of the Arnold store.
While we went through the loss and disappoint of losing two stores in a short amount of time, our Angels Camp store continued to hold steady throughout the entire economical downturn. In 2012, we noticed business increasing at a steady pace with 2015 proving to be our best year in business since we opened in 1985.
Why, you ask? Weddings, weddings, and more weddings! Our County has literally exploded with wedding venues as the wine industry pours into Calaveras County with beautiful small wineries perfect for marriage ceremony. People from all over the world travel with romantic excitement to
our little county to the tie-the-knot. With 50 known venues (and growing) in Calaveras County, the local wedding industry is definitely on the rise.
As I write this, the year is 2015 and we just celebrated our 30th year in businesses as Blooms And Things Florist. Since our story is on going, this page will be updated periodically as we make history.
From Blooms & Things Florist, we extend our thank you[s] for using our company for your floral needs.
- Mark McFall