A flower shop sees all the ups and downs of life – births, weddings, get-wells, anniversaries, and funerals. Anna Ribbeck spent the summer seeing all the ins and outs of Billy Heroman’s Flowers, Gifts and Plantscaping, which is so much more than a flower shop. Ribbeck, a senior studying plant and soil systems in the LSU College of Agriculture, says she has received a good foundation on plants in school, but was able to expand her knowledge this summer with Billy Heroman’s.
"We learned a lot of the science background. That is why I wanted to come to the Heroman’s and learn more of the design and floral background of it," Ribbeck said.
Ribbeck rotated through different jobs at the company working retail, caring for greenhouse plants, doing interior landscaping, and learning to spot for plant diseases. But she says her favorite part of the job was designing floral arrangements. Ribbeck plans to go to graduate school, but this internship has made her rethink what her path.
"I decided to take a different route in grad school and will probably focus more in floraculture and the problems they face with packing and sorting," she said.
The Heromans said they have been interested in bringing in horticulture students to work in the business. Ribbeck was their first. Robert Heroman said the company, which has close to 90 employees, is growing.
"If we can expose some young people to horticulture and fresh flowers as well, and get them started from a young age like some of us in the family have, and build careers for them, like we’ve built careers for the family," Heroman said.
Ribbeck said she didn’t realize how fast-paced the floral industry can be. She said orders come in and are filled quickly. Her hands are torn up from the dozens of roses she handles a daily, but she said it’s been a fun and educational summer seeing life’s ups and downs through flowers.
"I enjoy reading the cards, what people say. You know with love or I’m really sorry, especially boyfriends."
Ribbeck also participates in archery competition. Recently she participated int he Archery Shooter's Association state championship for the women's bowhunter class.