Business is blooming: DeMotte flower shop open for business

Business is blooming: DeMotte flower shop open for business

Tori Van Gorp stands amongst a bed of flowers.

A DeMotte couple has turned their passion for flowers and community into a thriving local business. 

Inside what once held chickens and eggs during World War II, is full of flowers and feelings. When Tori and Tony Van Gorp were sitting in their living room amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they looked at each other and said, “Let’s grow flowers.”

Tony had previous experience as a young man working at a garden center, and when he was younger, dreamed of becoming a horticulturist. However, he was led to a career in law enforcement, and worked as a narcotics cop for many years. He found his way back to the garden with his wife, Tori, in 2021. Their original plan was to simply be a flower farm and sell to local florists, but when another florist said they were stopping the creation of their fresh flowers, they knew they had to step up for their community. This isn’t the first time they’ve been in the garden together, though. They both had gardens as children and when they were first married. They started a vegetable farmed named Two Hands Farm, and Tony was the Urban Agriculture Educator for Gary through the County Extension and Purdue. 

“It’s amazing for Jasper County,” Tony said. “Our mission is to sit with these families, and cry at their funerals, or laugh at their weddings…People stop in from around the country to come and see it. Those people bring revenue to Jasper County.” 

While Tony is the green thumb, Tori handles the books: she manages taxes, the corporate paperwork, the bills, and checkbooks, although Tony said she would never admit how hard she really works. 

The business officially kicked off in 2021 with flowers on their dinner table, but they moved to a dedicated space in October of 2022, and both emphasized how amazing the transition was. They said the first year was fun because they weren’t necessarily as worried about selling the flowers; it was just an experiment at first. 

Tony’s mother met his father while she was working at a chicken hatchery in Collier Row, London, which is where the business’s name “stems” from. Tori’s mother is English by descent. That’s also where the iconic chicken coop came from. The couple originally had chickens, and decided they couldn’t get rid of the coop due to its history. 

A bridal arch created by Collier Row.

Tony mentioned the pair wears their hearts on their sleeves, and it’s no surprise when each floral order comes with a story that lets them into someone’s life story. They’ve prayed with a couple who had just lost their newborn son, witnessed young couples getting married, and surely feel the weight that comes with those interactions.

“It feels like you’re giving back,” Tori said.  

The pair gave a resounding acknowledgement to the three “very talented” florists. They currently employ 8 people. Tori’s favorite flower is a delphinium, and Tony’s is a dahlia. 

The pair wants to grow and expand to a full-service shop in the area, and they are hoping their grandchildren continue the blooming business.

The shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If the flowers aren’t directly from their farm ground, they’re shipped in from Holland. Same day deliveries are available, with the caveat that the orders need to be received by 12 p.m. CST. They also offer floral subscription services. 

They can be contacted at 219-985-3321 or emailed at [email protected]. Their website can be found here

The shop is located at 11717 N 570 W, DeMotte, tucked in an off road.

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