Tulsa business is still blooming

Tuesday, August 2nd 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

Flowers are a wonderful way to say I love you, to say thank you, or I'm sorry, any number of things. Mrs. DeHaven's Flower Shop at 15th and Boston in Tulsa has been helping people do all of that for one hundred years.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells stopped in and found business is still blooming.

Jerry Parkhurst: "this is a family business started in 1905." Mrs. DeHavens opened before statehood arranging and selling flowers grown in a backyard garden. Jerry Parkhurst owns the business now he says it succeeds on service and making people happy. "This is a relationship business. We've done five, six generations of families weddings, mother-daughter, mother-daughter, mother-daughter."

Since the beginning, there have been two World Wars, the great depression and the periodic ups and downs of the local economy. "We have managed to survive all those occurrences." The business has grown beyond just flowers. They are very much an events operation. "We are capable of doing anything you want done on any scale you want to do it."

I pressed him for an example. He was trying to come up with a good one, but his general manager Gwen Whisenhunt thought of one immediately. "It was several years ago. Someone was enamored with Miss Piggy and this young man sent her a real baby pig." With some flowers of course and she was even able to come up with a picture of the pig complete with its garland of flowers. She says the pig slept in the shop for a couple of nights until the delivery day rolled around. That was one of the more unusual requests they have filled.

There have been weddings over seas, and on the lip of the Grand Canyon. Backyard parties and special events, a hundred years worth, but what about that pig. Whisenhunt: "She loved that little pig; it's on her father farm. I don’t' think he's bacon yet."

Josephine DeHaven moved here from Indiana and opened her flower shop downtown in 1905. She left it to a long time employee in her will, and that employee's grandson Jerry Parkhurst owns it now.