Located in the heart of Wheat Ridge at 44th and Jellison is the Swiss Flower and Gift Cottage. At this corner, you’ll find the modern building with the larger-than-life blue bird mural that’s the new upgraded shop. This building replaced the smaller unit that served the business for almost 50 years.
Heidi Haas Sheard was only 3 years old when her parents, Jim and Marta Haas, decided to leave Wisconsin and settle in Wheat Ridge. They came to Colorado on vacation. Marta is from Switzerland and the Colorado landscape felt like her home. The couple ended up asking local greenhouses if there was anything for sale in the flower business.
They learned that there was a flower shop, a greenhouse and a house for sale in the same property. The couple moved back to Wisconsin and set things in motion to purchase the property a year later in 1970.
Heidi, her two sisters and her brother grew up in the small house just behind the original store. Heidi has many fond memories of time spent in the greenhouse picking leaves for corsages, making deliveries with Dad, and pretending the area behind the house was their own Gilligan’s Island.
32 years ago, Heidi decided to buy her sister’s property. She loves doing business in Wheat Ridge because “it really is my home. These are my roots, this is my story, this is my identity. As Heidi says, “Business success lies in being passionate and a workaholic. But also by having a vision and the family and the employees to support you in this dream.
According to Steve Art of the Wheat Ridge Urban Renewal Authority, “Tax Increment Funding (TIF) from the Town of Wheat Ridge was key in making the new space what it is today. The program allows the property tax generated by that particular site to be used to move forward and back into the community of Wheat Ridge itself. It is money used to benefit Wheat Ridge, its businesses and its citizens.
Swiss Flower and Gift Cottage takes full advantage of the program to keep business tax revenue close to home.
Even though ownership has changed over the years, Heidi would like to see the land go back in time a bit so she can grow some of the plants she incorporates into her designs like they did in the beginning.
“I have lots of ideas, but not enough time!”
She hopes she can continue to take advantage of some of the civilian programs available to small businesses like hers to keep changing and improving her property.
“What was once a greenhouse and flower shop has transformed, over the years, into a fabulous 6,000 square foot retail therapy. Having the fresh flowers, the decoration of the house, the gifts, we make the tea party by reservation… there is nothing like it. Heidi goes on to say, “It’s not just a flower shop. It’s more of an experience to come here.
When customers come from other parts of the metro area, they’re quick to say, “Oh, I wish it was down south” or “Too bad you’re not closer.” Heidi doesn’t let this fall on deaf ears and kindly reminds them how easy it is to get to the store. Located near 44th and Kipling, “There are so many ways to get here, whether you’re taking the freeway through town or taking side streets, we’re in a great location for anyone in the metropolitan area. And it’s always worth the trip.”
The boutique offers many services as well as a unique range of products to delight all tastes.
“We have maps, we have garden art… There’s just about anything you can imagine in the shop. Everything that makes you happy is here.
Heidi and her team will design a personalized gift basket, bouquet or centerpiece for that next special occasion and even deliver these items.
The boutique staff are just as passionate about the business as Heidi.
“We’re all so excited about a sale, it’s so rushed.”
Erin is the most tenured of the staff.
“She has been with me for about 24 years. That says a lot, especially in today’s job market.
Heidi’s father still does his part at the store by being one of the delivery drivers. And Russ, Heidi’s husband, loves lending his talents to create the store’s art puzzles. They are made in the old shop building next door.
“What really excites me is the pinnacle of hunting, finding items you love and then seeing the customer love them too. All of us here love the thrill of selling our items.
Heidi likes to see and do things differently.
“Diversity is my passion.”
“The new building is a dream come true,” says Heidi. “Customers love it. I’m honored to be a 44th company that’s been around for over 50 years.
She invites you to come and visit at any time. It’s the only way to truly be part of the truly unique shopping experience at this locally owned and operated gem.