BIG RAPIDS — Bob Patterson considers himself a “second-generation florist.” His father, Don Patterson, opened up the first floral shop bearing the Patterson name in 1952, in Reed City. At the time, Bob was still in high school. Don Patterson grew up a dairy farmer in the Reed City area, but at some point, his son said, “He decided farming could only support so many people. After having three children, he decided to take up floriculture.” Patterson’s Flowers is currently run by Don’s sons, Bob and Brad, along with their mother, Gloria Patterson. “Our father was hoping his family would continue the business. He didn’t force it, but it just happened to work out,” Bob Patterson said. Don and his family opened the Big Rapids location of Patterson’s Flowers in 1974, while the Cadillac location opened its doors in 1988. “I love what I do. Every day is different. I love watching people choose flowers and gifts that are all based on emotions. People express themselves through what they pick out, which is fun to watch,” Bob Patterson said. The florists constantly bring in various kinds of flowers and gifts. This can all depend on the season, the nearest holiday, and even goings-on around the world. “Earthquakes, volcanoes, and even civil unrest can affect shipping of our products,” Bob Patterson said. Patterson’s Flowers receive products from all over the world, including plants from southeast Asia, South America and Africa. Many plants come from the U.S., specifically, Florida and California. In May and June they boast plants and hanging baskets that largely come from their native state of Michigan. “It’s always up to nature on which products we receive. It’s not like picking out a pair of blue jeans,” Bob Patterson said with a laugh. “We do a lot of […]