A Perfect Surprise: Chamber Recognizes A Perfect Blend
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors surprised a locally owned and operated business, A Perfect Blend, as the September Member of the Month. Melinda Gilgen and her family opened A Perfect Blend in 2014 located at 1225 South Street in Bluffton.
Family. A Perfect Blend is all about family in all aspects of the business. Everyone plays a very important piece to this family-run business between Melinda Gilgen, Natasha Gilgen, and Preston Gilgen.
Melinda is not new to running and operating a business. Melinda said in the early 2000’s she used to have her own catering business and had a physical location north of town. “I also arranged flowers for weddings and funerals as a side business out of my home. I have been doing this type of work since I was very young.”
During that time, Natasha lived in New York City and worked at a museum and visitors center. “I gained a lot of experience while in New York and worked at the best gift shop in the city,” explained Natasha. “When Mom decided she wanted to open her own flower and gift shop, I moved back home to help her.”
Preston, who is the son of Melinda, helped with catering events and currently arranges flowers. Natasha and Preston focus on the wedding events and Melinda focuses on the funeral arrangements. Each bring their talents to the business to make it work. Melinda’s mother, Edna Moser, even plays a huge part sewing pillows that customers will find at the store.
When the Gilgen family purchased the building in 2014, it was a huge undertaking to remodel the old building. “Everything needed replaced from the windows, flooring, roofing, lighting, electrical, siding, and so much more,” said Natasha. “We put in a new parking lot and took down the trellis in the front of the building as well; it was a lot of work that needed to be done before we could open for business.”
A Perfect Blend offers fresh flowers for all occasions with free delivery to homes in Bluffton. “We will deliver within a 40-mile radius in all directions around Bluffton,” said Natasha. Inside the store customers will be enlightened with the variety of seasonal gifts and décor. “The décor will change by the season and typically you will never see it again. Our mainstays are DeBrand Chocolates, soaps, chimes, bereavement gifts, solar lights, jewelry, art, cards, and of course, my Grandma’s pillows.”
During the Christmas season, A Perfect Blend is beautifully decorated inside the store, but their talents are seen all over Wells County and into the Fort Wayne area. Natasha explained that they decorate customers’ homes, businesses, and the variety of organizations they get involved with which include: Ouabache Wonderland of Lights, a tree at the Historical Society, and a grand wreath entering the Arts, Commerce & Visitors Centre for the Creative Arts Festival of Wreaths.
One of the most successful events during the year is their Christmas Open House, which is scheduled for November 6 and 7. In addition, the business also participates in Operation Christmas Child through Hope Church. “We really enjoy getting involved in the many different events and causes during holiday season,” Melinda said.
A Perfect Blend is known for giving back in the community in a variety of ways donating items and centerpieces for fundraisers and events or partnering with a multitude of organizations in Wells County.
Forgotten Children Worldwide is an organization A Perfect Blend partnered with the day they opened. Every Friday 10% of all sales are donated to the organization; in addition, every Friday they offer $6 wrapped flower bouquets to benefit Forgotten Children Worldwide.
“We believe it’s important to be good stewards in the community and give back. In doing this, you create a warm, welcoming, kind, and generous place. This all is important for our business and our family because it is an investment in our community, and it is our responsibility to give back to our customers. Customer service is important for us and what we do daily, so people want to come in and have a positive experience,” concluded Natasha.
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Natasha Gilgen, A Perfect Blend
Preston Gilgen, A Perfect Blend
Melinda Gilgen, A Perfect Blend