Petals and Produce takes home Small Business Award

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

By Ellen Brabo, For the Washington Daily News

Petals and Produce stands as a testament to the VanStaalduinen family’s dedication to providing fresh, locally sourced products to their community. Named the Small Business of the Year at the recent Washington Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Banquet, this family-owned gem, spearheaded by Tom and Heather VanStaalduinen, continues to captivate hearts and palates alike.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” expressed Heather.

With a rich history dating back to its inception in Pinetown 23 years ago, Petals and Produce has flourished under the nurturing hands of the VanStaalduinens. Tom, the quiet force behind the scenes, meticulously tends to the products, ensuring quality and freshness, while Heather, the visionary, ignites the spark of innovation that led to the establishment of their latest location.

Heather’s vision, coupled with community support, transformed a mere idea into a thriving reality. The warm embrace of the Bath community welcomed the VanStaalduinens with open arms, a sentiment echoed by their daughter-in-law, Taylor VanStaalduinen, and employee Parker Williams, who have witnessed firsthand the community’s enthusiasm for the new venture.

From yoga and pottery classes to bicycles for leisurely rides along the waterfront, the VanStaalduinens have cultivated a space where connections flourish and memories are made.

“We want to be a one-stop-shop for the community,” emphasized Heather, highlighting their ongoing efforts to obtain a wine license and expand their services further.

The VanStaalduinens are committed to listening to their customers, evident in the wish list book they maintain based on customer input. This year, the family is expanding their offerings, particularly in their flower subscriptions for spring and summer, and adding items such as local eggs and bread as options for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions.

Heather encourages the community to continue supporting local businesses, highlighting the personal connection between customers and the dreams of the families they are supporting.

“We need to continue to celebrate, support and invest in the businesses in our community,” expressed Heather.

For Tom, the award serves as a reminder of the importance of perseverance and community support.

“Stick it out,” he advises aspiring entrepreneurs. “Anything worth having is worth waiting for and working for.”

In the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship, Petals and Produce stands as a beacon of resilience, rooted in the belief that when you nurture community, growth blossoms.