‘Orillia as a city is seeing massive growth, which is extremely encouraging as a local business owner,’ says merchant grateful for My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program
As part of the City of Orillia’s My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program, the My Main Street Success Story series highlights businesses in the Business Improvement Area that have achieved success through new and innovative business practices and partnerships.
The recently opened downtown Orillia flower shop, Florillia, opened its doors in January 2022 at 21 Matchedash St. S., unit 1D. The shop is co-owned by local Orillia residents Meagan Breukelman and Brandon Melhado, and sells various floral arrangements and house plants, and offers floral services for any occasion.
Breukelman and Melhado decided to open the shop after moving to Orillia in 2021 and quickly falling in love with all the city has to offer.
“Orillia has an extremely lively, vibrant downtown core and that’s something we really wanted to be a part of,” Melhado said. “We felt there was a gap in the market for a unique, modern floral shop in Orillia, and we’re really happy we were able to jump in and fill that need.”
On top of this, Breukelman and Melhado recognized the overwhelming support seen throughout the community.
“Orillia has a huge support-local focus,” said Breukelman. “Consumers here put a large importance on supporting local businesses, which has been really encouraging for us. From the other small business owners to the local community, the support you’ll feel here in Orillia is over the top.”
The two co-owners have received further support through the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program, offered through the City of Orillia and delivered by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario. Through this program, Florillia received a custom market research report that highlighted its target group’s interests, values and shopping habits. With the help of this research and the area’s Main Street ambassador, Breukelman and Melhado were able to develop a targeted marketing plan and new workshops that have been a huge hit.
“The My Main Street program has supported our growth tremendously by giving us access to helpful market research, providing us with a Main Street ambassador to assist us with any questions we have and give valuable advice, and providing us with funding to put towards expanding and bettering our business,” said Breukelman.
With a lot of hard work on their application and a strong plan for the funding, Florillia is a recipient of one of 10 available $10,000 grants offered through the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program to help main street businesses expand and grow.
“We are extremely grateful to be receiving funding through the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program. This funding has helped us purchase an additional floral cooler, invest in high-quality signage, enhance our outdoor displays and invest in our marketing. We are also excited to put the funds towards curating hands-on workshop experiences in the near future. We’ve learned through our market research that this would be something our customers would really enjoy,” said Melhado.
This funding has been significant in helping the pair grow in store sales, expand their special occasion offerings and start hosting community workshops. In fact, their first two workshops on Aug. 10, 2022 were a big success, resulting in praise from attendees and lots of interest in future workshops.
“There is no lack of support and encouragement here. The relationships we’ve made in just a short time of opening have been incredible, and we have felt so welcomed since Day 1. Orillia as a city is seeing massive growth, which is extremely encouraging as a local business owner,” said Melhado.
To learn more about investment and business opportunities in Orillia, visit the City of Orillia business development website at businessinorillia.ca or contact the city’s business development office at 705-325-4900 or [email protected].
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