Meet Your Merchant: Make an arrangement with this longtime Tahoe business
Special to the Sun
TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; After 25 years in Tahoe, Wandaand#8217;s Flower Shop is still a localsand#8217; favorite for flower arrangements on the North Shore.
Founder and owner, Wanda Bambery, has been working with plants and flowers since 1978. She learned how to make arrangements from a dear friend and business partner, Ric Mazarenus. At the time, in 1979, Bambery and Mazarenus, along with other partners, owned the Log Cabin Shop, now Soule Domain in Brockway. Mazarenus taught Bambery how to work with flowers.
and#8220;He inspired me,and#8221; Bambery said. and#8220;I learned a lot from him.and#8221;
She was soon hooked on designing arrangements. In 1987, Bambery decided to start her own flower shop in downtown Tahoe City.
and#8220;I knew that was my passion. I didnand#8217;t want to work for anyone else. I wanted to be my own creator,and#8221; she said.
Wandaand#8217;s store specializes in custom arrangements, for weddings, special events, businesses, or just because you wanted to pick up some flowers. She has the freshest flowers in stock and sent to her, often traveling to Sacramento and Reno to pick flowers out herself.
While the shop moved around twice before settling into a space on North Lake Boulevard, Bambery and her flowers have now been in the same location for 18 years. This upcoming fall, Bambery is changing the store, moving into a smaller work space, located just behind the shop.
and#8220;Itand#8217;s the same business,and#8221; Bambery explained. and#8220;Iand#8217;ll still be doing flowers and#8212; I just wonand#8217;t have the normal selection that my customers are accustomed to.and#8221;
Bambery stressed that even with the change, she still will be able to provide arrangements for people, sheand#8217;ll just need a little more notice now. She added that while a certain flower may not be in stock on a particular day, she can order them and normally have it within two days.
and#8220;Things will just take a little more planning,and#8221; Bambery explained. and#8220;Iand#8217;ll always have flowers in the refrigerator.and#8221;
While the store will be mostly just a work space now, Bambery said she is overall excited about the move. She will still have an open door to her customers, accepting some walk-in business, but will mostly now be taking orders over the phone once the move is complete.
and#8220;(We can) still do wraps if you show up at the front door,and#8221; Bambery said.
Her new work space will be behind the current store, just across from North Shore Hawaiian Grill, and has a small window and door that will be open to customers.
Bamberyand#8217;s work can be seen at various businesses and restaurants around North Lake Tahoe, including Sunnyside and Wolfdaleand#8217;s, who get weekly arrangements from her. She has also been responsible for the flowers at Jakeand#8217;s on the Lake for years, since the restaurant opened in 1978. She has done work for various celebrities, including Mike Love of the Beach Boys and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders.
When designing arrangements, Bambery said she likes to work with flowers that are in season, including wild flowers, giving bouquets a true Tahoe feel.
and#8220;I see what I have to work with then put it together,and#8221; Bambery said. She added that no two arrangements go out the door the same, as she changes things up a bit each time.
and#8220;I try to make everything look a little different,and#8221; she said.
Among her favorite flowers to work with are lilies, orchards, peonies and tropical flowers. Working with her daughter, Ashley, Bambery explained that she works best when given creative freedom. When customers come in with an idea of what they want, Bambery can take it from there to create a masterpiece.
While Wandaand#8217;s Flower Shop may be changing in the next few weeks, one thing will remain the same: her fantastic arrangements and customers.
and#8220;I do love my clients,and#8221; Bambery said.
She explained that there are several customers and businesses she has worked with since she opened her store, who return week after week to her for flowers.
If youand#8217;re looking for some flowers for a special occasion, or just to freshen up your home, give Wanda a call or stop by her shop. With the freshest flowers available, she can create a unique arrangement just for you.
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