The Green Leaf carves out niche providing flowers, gifts and memories

Joyce Crawford, Charlene Randle and Catherine Sawtelle, at The Green Leaf Flowers and Gift Shop. (Photo by Donna Summerall, DTL)
Staff Writer

Black History Month is underway across the country and in West Point, black-owned businesses are vital pillars of the local economy.

The Green Leaf Flowers and Gifts is owned by Beverly and Alvin Carter Jr.

It opened in November 2004, and has continued to supply the floral and gift-giving needs of the community.

"Floral design has always been a hobby of mine, " Beverly Carter said. "It's something I always wanted to do. When Country Side was going out of business, I offered to buy the shop. I bought the business and then it ended up being a perfect fit with Alvin's business, Carter's Mortuary Services."

Beverly Carter is a chemist and a lab supervisor at West Lake Chemical in Aberdeen. But she is always aware of what is going on at Green Leaf.

"We appreciate and value our customers," Carter said. "We want to be sure they are satisfied with with our work. If they aren't, we fix it."

The Green Leaf is currently preparing for one of its busiest days of the year: Valentine's Day.

"The orders are already coming in," Joyce Crawford of the Green Leaf, said."We offer flowers. chocolates, chocolate-covered strawberries, gift baskets, stuffed animals, balloons and handbags, just to name a few."

Crawford said the big trend for stuffed animals this year is llamas.

"Unicorns are always popular," Crawford said. "But the llamas are big. Last year everyone wanted sloths."

Catherine Sawtelle said going to market helps them prepare for what is going to be in demand this year.

"Being in Mississippi, we're a little behind what the large cities doing," Sawtelle said. "But that allows us to know what the changes are going to be."

All three of the ladies agree their favorite customers are the ones who buy flowers "just because."

"When young men come in here running, we know they are in trouble," Charlene Randle said. "They mess up with their girl and want to get her some flowers to make up. Most of them have no idea what the girl's address is to have the bouquet delivered. We work with them to find out so they can say they are sorry. Maybe if they bought some 'just because' flowers earlier they wouldn't be in hot water."

Green Leaf can create floral arrangement for funerals, weddings, rehearsal dinners, special occasions, churches and every event in between.

"We want to be the one-stop shop for flowers and gifts," Carter said. "We have something to make every day special."