By Ken Lay

A local florist made last week a little brighter for the patients at Shannondale Health Care Center.

It was a cloudy and drizzly day, but Dianne Storm and Tina Lakin of West Knoxville’s Abloom Florist delivered a few flowers to the senior healthcare center at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Storm, who manages the family-owned flower shop, located at 7007 Kingston Pike said that the day was the store’s annual day of giving.

“The last four years, we’ve given to some of the smaller nursing homes and we delivered flowers to the patients in their rooms,” said Storm, who manages the shop owned by her parents Roy and Hazel Drinnen. “When we decided to go to Shannondale, they had 170 beds and we just couldn’t afford to donate to 170 patients.”

But that didn’t stop Abloom Florist from brightening the day for the staff and patients at one of Knoxville’s largest senior healthcare facilities.

“They suggested that we deliver them to the dining areas on each floor so everybody would get the chance to enjoy them,” Storm said. “We also dropped some flowers off at the front and at the nurse’s stations.”

That represented a day of giving by the Tennessee Teleflora Unit, of which Storm is a member and Teleflora annually donates to service providers, including senior healthcare centers, police stations, fire stations and other members of the institutions of public service.

“We have a Tennessee Teleflora Unit,” Storm said. “I’m a member and every year we donate flowers and that has to be in the service industry.”

But providing service is nothing new for Abloom Florist, a company that prides itself on exemplary customer service.

The company provides floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, parties and other events and Storm said that customer service is a key to the company’s success. Roy and Hazel Drinnen have owned the business since 1983. Hazel works in the shop and Roy runs daily errands to the post office.

“We wanted to be a florist who brought something a little bit different,” Storm said. “There are a lot of florists in Knoxville and we’ve always prided ourselves on our customer service.

“My parents pretty much bought the business and I went to work in it. We’ve prided ourselves on being a little bit different.”

Storm also said that her work brings her plenty of rewards.

“This is very rewarding to me because everybody likes to get flowers,” she said. “Even with funerals, the people are always pleased because we help them do what they want to remember their loved one.”