The holiday season is normally a busy and hectic time of year for Minneapolis flower shop Indulge & Bloom, with orders to fill and a steady stream of shoppers coming through the store.
But this year an unexpected hardship has hit the florist. In late November, Indulge & Bloom packed up and left its longtime location in Calhoun Commons off Excelsior Boulevard after what the business owners describe as bad-faith negotiations with their landlord.
“It’s a horrible situation to be in,” said founder Raed Kakish, who runs the business with his sister.
Indulge & Bloom has been in business since 1997 and moved into its West Calhoun location in 2009. This year, the three other businesses that share its south-facing building — Moss Envy, Vitamin Shoppe and TC2 Salon — have all moved out. Kakish said this summer that their landlord, Paul Effrem, wanted them to move into the larger Vitamin Shoppe space, a move that would have doubled Indulge & Bloom’s $3,500 monthly rent and wasn’t feasible. Then, at the end of September, Kakish said, they were given notice their lease would not be renewed and the store would have to leave by the end of November, in the middle of their busiest time of year. When they asked to stay through December, Kakish said, Effrem initially offered them a price of $25,000 per month, a move he described as exorbitant.
Eventually Effrem dropped the price considerably, Kakish said, but by that time they were fed up and moved out.
Effrem said he planned to reconfigure the building at the end of 2019 because all of the business leases were ending this year and he couldn’t reach an agreement with Indulge & Bloom to move into a new space. He said he made several offers to allow the shop to stay through December, including a final offer at 150% of their lease rate.
“The business reality is that people’s buying habits are changing and retail is becoming more of an online business with cost comparisons happening very easily,” Effrem said in an email. “Thus the local shopping centers are becoming more service oriented.”
Effrem did not directly respond to Kakish’s claim that the initial offer was $25,000.
Indulge & Bloom also has locations at Gaviidae Commons Downtown and at the Mall of America, but the Calhoun Commons location is where the shop ran most of its operations and stored much of its wares. The move has put the business in flux, but the owners are working to find a new home in Southwest Minneapolis.
“We are hustling and bustling to try to find a new spot right now,” Kakish said.
That spot might end up being Calhoun Square, where Indulge & Bloom is hoping to move into a temporary space, according to Kakish.
3054 Excelsior Blvd.