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Agriculture

Floral business moving to larger location in Park Circle

Agriculture
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Roadside Blooms broke ground on its new Park Circle storefront on March 1. (Rendering/Provided)

Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms floral shop in North Charleston has firmly planted her roots in the Park Circle community and is now expanding with a bigger, more permanent shop. 

Ten years ago, Reale, serving as the CEO, lead designer and creative director, launched her initial entrepreneurial endeavor, an eco-friendly event planning and floral design business. She and her sister-in-law hatched the idea for a mobile flower shop, while her husband simultaneously found a 1971 British ice cream truck that just happened to be in Charleston. The combination led to the establishment of Roadside Blooms. 

“Park Circle was missing a local flower shop,” Reale said.  

The business has bloomed ever since. In 2017, Reale opened a brick-and-mortar location on Chateau Avenue before quickly outgrowing that space and moving two years later to the business’ current 4610 Spruill Ave.  

That location quickly became insufficient as well. 

But on March 1, Reale broke ground on her new shop in Park Circle’s Mixson mixed-use development. The space will be double the size of the former Spruill Avenue shop. 

Reale will also own, rather than lease, this latest iteration of Roadside Blooms.  

Collaborations in this project include Reale’s investment partner on the building, Brady Quirk-Garvan, as well as Lindsay Nevin of Flyway, a Charleston company specializing in sustainable design, and local architect April Magill, an advocate of sustainable architecture. Together, they’re developing a new concept where Roadside Blooms will occupy the first floor of a three-story building. Residential apartments will be located above the business.  

Reale aims to move operations to the Mixson location by January when her Spruill lease expires.  

“I just love this community, and I saw an opportunity to grow this business in the community I love,” Reale said. “I feel this is a really homegrown endeavor.”  

Over the years, Reale has cultivated Roadside Blooms from a solo operation to 12 employees, and the latest expansion will likely lead to more hires.  

“It makes me proud to support their families with good pay and meaningful work,” Reale said. “As we continue to grow, we’ll need more staff.” 

Weddings comprise the majority of Roadside Blooms’ business, with Reale’s professional design team averaging 80 events in a typical year.  

The past couple years have been anything but typical though. During the height of the pandemic, weddings were rescheduled, forcing Reale to focus more on the retail aspect, which she had always viewed as a side business.  

“I’ve fallen in love with what we’re doing on the retail side,” she said, adding that Roadside Blooms caters to customers looking for something unique and funky.  

“Our aesthetic is different. We have a natural, bohemian look to our style,” she said. “We pick all the flowers and designs. No two designs are the same.”   

Reale, who previously taught geology at the College of Charleston for 11 years, has always been interested in environmental issues.  

“Sustainability is a very big pillar of my business,” she said. “We source all American and locally grown plants. We don’t import plants.”  

Giving back is also important to Reale. Every Thursday, Roadside Blooms donates flowers to Amor Healing Kitchen, a nonprofit providing plant-based meals to people facing health challenges. Through her donations, individuals receive a bouquet to accompany their food.  

“We compost whatever we can’t donate,” said Reale. “It’s very community-focused.” 

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