Hestand under new ownership

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Hestand Floral and Gifts, a Portales business that’s been around for nearly 60 years, is under new ownership and management.
Rosalie Richards and her husband, J. Mark Richards, are the new owners. They purchased the business in late November from Trish and Richard Lovorn, who owned the florist shop for approximately eight years.
“We’ve always had the dream of owning a business,” Richards said. “I talked to my husband about it and we decided that would really be awesome to have a business where we could put smiles on peoples’ faces.”

The Richards’ daughter, Michele Robertson, will manage the business. She brings professional experience to the job after working at a floral shop on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., and an arts and craft store. She also learned about the business at IGA in Portales as a high school student.

Robertson moved back in March. Rosalie Richards, who has lived in Portales for 30 years, also teaches part-time at Eastern New Mexico University and is a therapist. She plans to work part-time at Hestands and learn the business from her daughter. Her sister, Judie Leverenz, will join the staff later.

“We really want to make sure we can provide good quality and honor the Hestand tradition with good quality and service,” Robertson said.

The business was started by Elvis and Billie Jo Hestand in 1949. A succession of owners have operated it the last 20 years.

Richards said one thing that won’t change is the rubber tree plant that has been growing in the soil under one of the green houses since Hestands had the business.

Richards plans to remain with FTD wire service and other wire services may be explored. The mother/daughter team also hopes to utilize the two green houses more. Possibilities there include growing more fresh flowers and getting into hydroponics to provide customers with fresh vegetables year-round.

Immediate plans include updating the inventory in the gift shop to include Southwestern items such turquoise jewelry, kachinas and pottery, and putting in a line of souvenir items.

Robertson also hopes to teach classes in beading, scrapbooking, cardmaking and children’s crafts after everyone is settled in the business. A local artist’s corner is also in the works, she said.

At a glance:

Name: Hestand Floral and Gifts

Address: 813 W. Second, Portales

Phone: 356-6951 (temporary phone 749-2315)

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday