HJ/EDMarch 13, 2006

Floral shop at home in Waverly

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

Marty Stommes claims dirt runs in her veins; and now a business that has always been near to her heart is finally near to her home.

Two years after Stommes started Natural Balance Floral in Buffalo, she has relocated to Waverly.

The business officially opened in its new location March 1, along the railroad properties on Highway 12 on the east end of town.

“It feels good to be home,” Stommes said.

Stommes and her husband, Richard, have lived in Waverly for about 25 years.

For the last 18 years, they have owned and operated their own landscape and garden business from their eight-acre home, east of Waverly. This is one of the reasons Stommes decided to relocate her business.

“It is a mile from my home, and a mile from my cutting supply,” Stommes said.

Natural Balance Floral offers gifts, bedding plants, and pottery. Being so close to her garden allows Stommes easy access to unique and unusual cuts of flowers for her clients.

“I start everything in my garden, and it either goes to the clients’ gardens or the cutting garden for the shop,” Stommes said.

Some of the flowers also come from her suppliers, especially during the winter months.

Stommes specializes in flowers for weddings, funerals, events, and proms, and even rents tuxedos.

But with all this work keeping her busy, she maintains a sense of humor, as her friends can attest to.

Stommes remembers one day when a friend came into the shop and saw a beautiful plant that she just had to have.

When she asked what it was, Stommes told her employee to say it was a European geranium.

“It wasn’t until (her friend’s) mother came over that she found out it was a watermelon plant,” Stommes said.

The plant had begun to take over her pool deck, and little watermelons were sprouting.

It’s a story neither of them will forget for a long time.

All jokes aside, Stommes feels the truly great thing about her business now, is the location.

“It is a place for people to shop in town. They don’t have to go to the cities or run to Buffalo,” Stommes said.

Her business is not only community-oriented, but also family-oriented.

Her husband runs the lawn crew for their landscaping business, and her son, Justin Martyn, manages the landscaping crew, while his wife, Bekki, handles the books for Natural Balance and Floral.

“I’d rather have my nose in the dirt than in the books,” Stommes said with a laugh.

The store currently employs four people, but may need to start getting ready for another one, Stommes’ granddaughter.

“She’s quite the little florist; helping with potting plants and things,” Stommes said.

But expansion is not something Stommes is afraid of, as she is hoping to build her own store just east of town, near her home, eventually.

She is also looking to add limo service to the list of services she offers, upon receiving a license.

But for now, Stommes is happy with her new store and location. A grand opening is planned for early spring.

Store hours are Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon. The store will be open longer during the summer months.


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