Friendship tastes sweet

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Ongoing road construction on Vine Street didn't stop Eitel's Florist from celebrating Friendship Day along with other Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce members on Wednesday. The increased traffic to the flower and gift shop forced construction workers to look out for customers even more than normal. As a thank you, the Eitel's staff served Putnam Inn sweet rolls to the workers as a mid-morning snack. Dave Smith II (yellow shirt) accepts a roll from Maggie Pruitt (left), as Eitel's owner Jenny Sullivan (second from left) calls for more workers to serve and engineer Michael Ross enjoys the tasty treat.

It may not exactly become a Friendship Day tradition, but at least the staff at Eitel's Florist found a way to make Friendship Day 2015 unique.

Besides joining a number of other Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce members in giving away free dozens of roses for the annual celebration, Eitel's staffers also took a few minutes Wednesday morning to serve sweet rolls to the construction crew working on Vine Street.

The basics of doing business have been more complicated than normal for Eitel's since the closure of Vine Street for road construction in late May.

However, far from being bitter about the challenges, Eitel's owner Jenny Sullivan is counting her blessings, saying the summer has been a challenge but the flower and gift shop is continuing to make it through.

"We've been blessed with a lot of last-minute weddings this year," Sullivan said. "Thankfully, we are a phone-based business, but our walk-in business has been affected."

Still, some of those walk-in customer have found a way to get to Eitel's, including using the side door in the alley between the shop and the Masonic temple and traversing the sidewalk along Vine Street, even as backhoes and steamrollers continue to work just feet away.

The challenges of reaching Eitel's Florist during Vine Street construction did not stop customers from visiting the shop to celebrate Friendship Day on Wednesday morning.

With the added traffic of Friendship Day on Wednesday, Eitel's customers got even bolder. While making their way to the shop for their dozen free flowers (same deal as always -- give 11 away, keep one for yourself) some even walked across the construction zone to get their flowers.

Appreciative of the workers' patience on Wednesday and all summer long, Sullivan and her employees called the construction crew together around 9:30 a.m. to serve a pan of sweet rolls from the Putnam Inn, another Chamber member and Friendship Day sponsor.

It made for a nice morning break for the workers before returning to the task of building the street, which is slated for completion before the end of October.

Besides serving the rolls, the Eitel's staff found ways to deal with the challenges of this particular Friendship Day. One such solution was to take the flowers out to the corner of Vine and Walnut streets.

It's all a part of the problem solving and positive attitude Sullivan and her staff have tried to maintain during the challenges of the past few months.

"It's progress and it's so going to be worth it," Sullivan said of the Vine Street project, which follows on the heels of a similar revamp of Indiana Street in 2014.

"Indiana Street is beautiful and we're excited for Vine Street to look like that as well."

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