Magnolias on Main
Some say that flowers are like friends; they bring colour in to the world.
If you look at the world as being Mission’s downtown, then nothing could be more beautiful than the colour that Magnolias on Main brings to us.
Tami Klassen, owner of Magnolias on Main, was not only raised in Mission, but her heritage, her roots and her future is Mission.
“My grandfather was an early entrepreneur in town,” Tami says, proud of her family’s community legacy. “He owned a little diner downtown called The Luscious Cafe and my mom and my aunts all worked there at some point.”
Equipped with creativity, a keen eye for flair, and a love of flowers, Tami pursued a career in floral design. After graduating with flying colours from St. Clares Academy of floral design, Tami was drawn back to her hometown and worked at Wayside Gardens.
It didn’t take long until Tami met Hitomi, the owner of Satsuki’s Florists, which was the original flower shop in downtown Mission.
Tami explained, “She called me and asked if I could help run the shop and I immediately jumped in to help.”
They continued in this manner for quite awhile, Tami helping while Hitomi was away, but eventually the long hours began to take their toll on the two ladies. Hitomi was away more frequently than she was in Mission and Tami was teaching floral design at UFV full time.
Finally Hitomi approached Tami about the possibility of buying the shop , and the rest is history. In only thirteen days, with the help of Community Futures, and their amazing team, Tami put a business plan together and managed to secure financial backing.
The next part was coming up with a name that embodied everything Tami envisioned.
“I remember Hitomi just told me to go for a drive and it would come to me, so that’s exactly what I did.”
Following this advice, Tami remembers driving all over Mission, and although she was unable to come up with a suitable name, she did see a lot of beautiful magnolia trees in bloom.
“As I was driving along, I kept admiring them and commenting on how beautiful and special they were.”
It wasn’t until she finished her drive, turning on to Main Street that it dawned on her.
Magnolias on Main was born.
With big shoes to fill and slightly terrified, Tamijumped in head first and really took ownership of her little floral shop.
“That was when I really fell in love with Mission,” says Tami beaming as she reflects on the past 16 years downtown. “I love my customers so much and I absolutely love Mission."
With the recent breakout of COVID-19, it was a big decision to close Magnolia’s doors and do business through only telephone, delivery and pick up. Tami tried to stay open but social distancing became difficult.
The fire was the next devastating crisis to hit our downtown and although they were impacted with chemical and smoke damage, Tami is grateful because it could have been so much worse.
“My heart breaks for all the businesses that have been affected by the fire.”
The love that has poured out of the community during these difficult times is overwhelming.
Tami has always been one to give back. When she realized that her precious flowers were no longer of high retail value, she along with Caroline, made up 150 small bouquets. Attachinghearts that were handmade by locals, and with a lovely piece of music playing, they laid them at the cemetery to pay tribute to our community ancestors and loved ones.
“There was still so much beauty in them. It seemed a shame to just throw them out.”
Magnolias on Main is still standing strong and Tami is determined to be open again in time for Mother’s Day. With the hopes of being able to start taking orders again on May 1st, the team is working night and day, as there is much cleaning and redecorating to be done.
They say that April showers bring May flowers and Mission is cheering them on.
Downtown needs its colour back.
Thank you for bringing us all so much joy over the years.