The story behind a local Muncie flower shop
As a child, Normandy Flower Shop owner Judy Benken thought she would grow up and find out what she wanted to do. Benken’s family owned a flower shop in Muncie. Benken spent a lot of time helping her family's business.
“I grew up in the flower business,” Benken said. “My parents owned a flower shop here in town, but not this one.”
As a young child, Benken would often lick stamps and help with statements. As she got older, she was able to help the family business even more.
“When I was 16 I would deliver flowers after school and learned to do wedding work and I delivered those too,” said Benken.
Benken ended up going off to college. Then after college, she moved to Ohio where she lived for four years. While being away from her family’s flower shop business, Benken tried multiple jobs.
“I thought ‘this is my chance to get out of the flower business’ and I looked for a job and I ended up at a veterinarian,” said Benken. “But I missed the flower business. The holidays rolled around and it just wasn’t the same.”
Benken was shocked at how the holidays did not feel the same when she was not working in a flower shop.
“Christmas wasn’t the same. Mother’s day wasn’t the same. Valentines day wasn’t the same,” Benken said. “because in the flower business those are just nutty holidays.”
While still living in Ohio, Benken quit her job with the veterinarian and worked for a florist in Ohio.
“In the meantime, my dad had retired from the flower business and my brother had taken over the shop and my dad was selling real estate,” said Benken. “Well this old flower shop came up for sale and he and my husband at the time decided we should buy it.”
That’s when Benken decided she was ready to start her own flower shop in downtown Muncie, Normandy Flower Shop. Benken always knew she wanted to raise her children in Muncie, so they started the process to buy the shop.
“We put a bid in on it and had no idea they had accepted it until two weeks before we were supposed to be here,” said Benken. “We had two weeks to put our house up for sale and pack up and come to Muncie.”
Now, years later, Benken has raised four kids and two of them are currently working at her flower shop.
“For years I thought I would grow up and figure out what I wanted to do and I guess this is it,” said Benken. “By the time I turned 40 or 50 I thought ‘you know I guess this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Benken says it would be nice to eventually retire and have some time off. But until then, she will continue to work at the flower shop.