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Floral & Gifts

Say Hello To Mary Zickler, Barrington Heinen's Floral Lead

How long have you been with Heinen's?
It’s been a little over 2 years now. I was here when we opened this store. We were the first Heinen’s in the Chicagoland area, so it was really fun when we opened the doors. It was so new to everyone!

So you’re from Chicago. How did you hear about Heinen’s?
I saw in the papers that there was a floral manager position in the new store they were opening. I got the job—and I love it. It’s a very interesting and creative department. I’m a team of one!

Did you have a background working in floral?
Yes, I have 30-plus years in the floral industry. My background includes floral design, retail merchandising, working trade shows. It’s been a passion of mine for a very long time.

So what do you like introducing customers to?
Let’s see. Our customers really like unique things. Like terrarium orchids or the big, double orchids— different things that you wouldn’t find at another grocer’s. And unique ideas, too. I’ve had customers come back to show me photos, saying “Remember what you suggested I take to that luncheon or shower? Look. It was perfect!” That’s what makes my job fun—that customer interaction.

Do you have a favorite season in your department?
I’d say each is unique in its own way and I love creating the experiences you see as you first walk in our doors. I guess I’d say that my personal preference is fall. I love the festive colors. I’m not necessarily excited by the cold winter that follows, but I love those rich fall colors!

Do you have a green thumb?
Yes, I think so. I have an outdoor garden and I like indoor plants, too. The kids and the dogs give my outdoor space a run for the money, but I’m really in my element when I’m in the garden.

So what’s the favorite plant in your garden right now?
Well, it’s the end of the summer growing season right now, so that’s a little tough. But I’d have to say all of my million bell hanging baskets. They’ve been so pretty.