By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN One’s a dollar store. The other’s a flower shop.
But, Loopy’s Dollar Store and Delano Floral & Gifts have more in common than one might think.
Like, their owners, for instance.
Deann Shoutz has been operating the flower shop since 2000, and her husband, Scott, opened the Delano Loopy’s in 2002.
“It’s busy,” Deann said, describing the hectic pace of running two businesses.
“I’m there [at Loopy’s] 70 to 80 hours per week,” Scott added.
But, there’s a certain appeal that keeps the Shoutz couple coming back for more.
“It’s the people, and it’s the hard work,” Deann explained. “We love to work.”
They also love to brighten people’s days.
“We sell a lot of party supplies,” Scott said. “It’s fun when a 4-year-old girl picks out a balloon and tells you, ‘It’s going to be my birthday.’”
At Delano Floral & Gifts, Deann also gets to help others celebrate momentous occasions.
“Valentine’s Day is the busiest,” she said. “The next is Mothers Day, and then prom.”
Deann has five employees, plus seasonal help for the extra busy times. The hours vary depending on the time of year, but are typically Monday through Saturday.
Loopy’s is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“He [Scott] works pretty much all the hours he’s open,” Deann said.
In order to see each other, the couple sometimes takes lunch breaks together in town.
They also connect when Scott does deliveries for the floral shop.
“I tell people that the best part of owning your own business is that you get to decide which 12 hours of the day you want to work,” Scott said. “I don’t complain about it, though, because you’ve got to like what you do.”
A hardworking family
Scott’s father, Doug Shoutz, works at Loopy’s four days a week.
Scott’s mother and stepfather, Marie and Jerome Andres of Delano, are also well-known in town.
Jerome’s father, Ed Andres, opened a Coast-to-Coast Hardware in downtown Delano in 1957, and Jerome took over the store in 1980.
Years ago, Scott didn’t envision owning a dollar store.
He graduated from Delano High School in 1980, and did analysis work at Wagner Spraytech in Plymouth.
A friend introduced him to Deann, a 1983 Buffalo High School graduate, and they were married in 1984.
Deann grew up on a hobby farm, and her father had been a groundskeeper at General Mills for 37 years.
She inherited her dad’s love of horticulture, and trained to become a florist.
“I spent seven years at General Mills, but other than that, I’ve always worked in flower shops,” Deann said.
In their early years of marriage, Scott entered the real estate field. Then, when they started thinking about having children, he became a property appraiser for the Wright County and Hopkins area.
“It was good to have steady income and insurance benefits,” Scott said.
Scott and Deann have two daughters Amber, 21, who is in Grand Forks studying to become a RN; and Paige, 16, a sophomore at Delano High School. Paige takes classes at Star Seekers Dance Studio in Delano, and also enjoys helping at the flower shop.
When their girls were young, Deann worked at flower shops in the area.
Then, in 2000, she and Scott decided to purchase the current Delano Floral & Gifts location (137 Bridge Ave. E.).
“It used to be another hardware store,” Scott said, adding that the century-old building has also been used as a dog training site, frame shop, and other businesses throughout the years.
“We revamped and painted,” Deann said. They kept the old-fashioned character of the store, however, with its tin ceilings and hardwood floors.
Soon, an opportunity arose for Scott to operate a business, as well.
He and two of his friends, Jason Amdahl and Gary Ploeger, became partners in Loopy’s Dollar Store, and Scott was hired to manage the Delano location.
Loopy’s moved into its space at 600 Babcock Blvd. E. in Delano April 8, 2002.
“It was very stressful,” Deann recalled. “It’s such a huge space to set up.”
“I had four hours of sleep in three days,” Scott added.
The lease includes more than 8,000 square feet of retail space, plus about 4,000 square feet of warehouse and bathroom space.
Scott and Deann both enjoy meeting the needs of local residents, and they look forward to seeing their customers each day.
“I’m a people person,” Scott said. “I like that part.”
“It is nice,” Deann added. “We know at least 85 percent of our customers.”
This is part of a group of stories being developed for a “Best of Highway 12” booklet to be published in coming months and distributed to readers all along Highway 12.
* This article has been modified to clarify information regarding the parents of Scott Shoutz.