Nick Pesche said customer traffic at his greenhouse and floral shop near Lake Geneva has been down the past several weeks but deliveries have increased and they offer curbside pickup. Pesche’s is currently open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. (Heather Ruenz photo)

Pesche’s adds precautions, keeps right on working

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

Nick Pesche, owner of Pesche’s Greenhouse, Floral and Gifts, Lake Geneva, said his shop is operating as close to normal as possible during the coronavirus pandemic but did make a few necessary changes.

“We’ve shortened our hours, put screens up at all the registers, have six-foot marks around all the registers and we’re cleaning a lot more than we usually do. Other than that, things are pretty normal,” he said.

Pesche said he and his staff are glad to be working and they have to be there to take care of the plants anyway so being able to be open is a bonus.

And, he said, it’s not hard to follow social distancing guidelines at Pesche’s, which was established in 1970.

“We do have a big place so it’s fairly easy to practice social distancing. Plus, none of the greenhouses are sealed up tight so there’s some pretty fresh air in there,” Pesche said.

Traffic is down early this spring at his shop but deliveries are definitely up and they’re able to offer curbside pickup – all people need to do is call and place an order.

“For deliveries we’ve been doing a lot of flowers but also mulching compost and plants,” he said.

Pesche said the Safer-at-Home order has led to many people taking up gardening or taking it to the next level.

“I do think a lot of people are doing those victory gardens. Some of them are probably thinking, ‘If I’m going to be stuck at home, I should at least make it nicer for when I’m sitting here looking out the window,’” he said with a laugh.

While they’ve held or canceled some of the gift items available, Pesche said the store still has most items it normally carries, but not as much.

They’ve also had to take a different approach to items they order from nurseries.

“We reduced some of our nursery orders since everything is still so uncertain. I’m talking more the trees and bushes, those types of things. We need and want to have some here but cut down orders a bit,” he said.

“I want to support the nurseries. But I don’t want to take too much in and have to pay for it and then not be able to sell it,” he added. “We’re all trying to work together to help each other out right now.”

Pesche said the average person might not realize a lot of the planning for his shop is done the year prior.

“So, our plant material that we ordered in June of last year – the plug growers, for example – you have to give them eight weeks notice to cancel. And by the time the shutdown started it was too late. Then it was figuring out if we should plant all of them or throw some out or what. Again, the uncertainty makes it hard to predict,” he said.

The one saving grace in all of this, according to Pesche, is that prom is always on Mother’s Day weekend in Lake Geneva and his shop is very, very busy. He said he’s hopeful it’ll be more manageable this year, which will help with what he assumes will be continued social distancing efforts.

Pesche’s has been able to keep all of its employees on board throughout.

“We’ve been able to do that by trimming hours because we just don’t have the same amount of work here right now. If they weren’t comfortable, I’d be fine with them staying home but all of them have been comfortable coming to work,” he said.

Pesche said he’s in an OK position to keep staff on as he’s used to working off a line of credit this time of year.

“That was probably easier for me than for some businesses. It’s usually not a problem to pay that back as business picks up but we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Pesche said while he’s thankful to be open, his business has a different feel this year.

“We’re not doing our spring open house sale and are trying not to over promote things in an effort to help keep people safe. We think it’s safe here – the greenhouses are big and it’s easy to keep your distance from others. And we certainly welcome people to stop by if they’re comfortable but if not, we’re happy to deliver or do curbside pickup,” he said.

Currently, Pesche’s is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. They have a wide variety of flowers and plants, flower and vegetable seeds, containers, soil, birdseed, bird feeders and more.

Pesche’s Greenhouse, Floral and Gifts is three miles west of Lake Geneva at W4080 Highway 50. For more information call 262-245-6125, visit peschesgreenhouse.com or follow them on Facebook.

 
 

1 Comment

  1. Pam jensen says:

    I love pesches! Aside from their beautiful plants and flowers, they have a wonderful gift section..don’t miss it!

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