McHenry County florists, restaurants still ‘extremely busy’ for Mother’s Day

Unable to visit moms last year, flowers were a go-to gift, but McHenry County florists still working hard

For Debbie Schmidt, owner of Huntley Floral, Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year.

Business also was booming for Schmidt and other florists last year. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, people were hesitant or unable to visit their parents, so instead they ordered flowers.

“It’s still up,” said Schmidt, whose store received about 150 orders Thursday.

As residents prepare to celebrate their mothers Sunday, McHenry County businesses such as Schmidt’s also are getting ready for Mother’s Day.

Whether they’re florists or brunch spots, many places are fielding numerous orders or reservations for Mother’s Day, even amid the pandemic.

Last year, Woodstock’s Apple Creek Flowers received almost 500 orders for Mother’s Day. Co-owner Lynn Nattress said this year has been a bit lighter, but the shop still had a couple hundred orders to fill this week.

“Things are opening up more, so more people are able to go see Mom for Mother’s Day,” Nattress said.

Linda Mahoney, owner of Chapel Hill Florist in McHenry, said she’s been “extremely busy.”

“Which is a good thing,” she said.

Mahoney said Mother’s Day and prom season being around the same time has made things even more hectic. Still, she’s grateful to have all the business, especially among a flower shortage because of the pandemic.

“We’re blessed that we’re doing what we are through [COVID-19],” Mahoney said.

Nattress, of Apple Creek, said early Mother’s Day orders trickle in, but her store typically sees an influx of orders beginning the weekend before the holiday.

“Sometimes people will forget, and then all of a sudden they’ll call us on Friday or even Saturday and they [ask], ‘Can you please send flowers to our parents or my mom?’ ” said Wendy Legare, co-owner of Apple Creek Flowers.

Mahoney said flowers always put a smile on people’s faces.

“It’s a joy to have them delivered to you,” Mahoney said.

Legare said it always was a tradition in her own family to give flowers on Mother’s Day.

Jennifer Guasta of Windhill Pancake Parlor in McHenry is holding a contest for her customers, asking them to write an essay in 200 words or fewer about how amazing their mother is. Windhill also is offering its full menu and a special Mother’s Day menu, which includes an entree, side and dessert.

Although indoor dining is allowed at restaurants now, Guasta still is offering a takeout option for those who don’t feel comfortable doing so. She said that lately, however, she has noticed the number of customers eating inside Windhill increasing week by week.

“People are getting more comfortable. People are saying, ‘Oh my gosh, we can go out now, we have our [COVID-19 vaccine]. We’re celebrating our shot,’ ” Guasta said. “Every week the numbers have been getting better.”

Like others, Guasta expects this Mother’s Day to be one of the busiest days for Windhill.

Although her own Mother’s Day will be spent at the restaurant, Guasta has plans to celebrate beforehand.

“My children are taking me out to dinner on Friday night,” she said.

For those who still need a last-minute gift for their mom, the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Altar and Rosary Society is having its 13th Day Before Mother’s Day Pie and Plant sale at 8:30 a.m. at the church, 10519 Main St., Richmond.

Pies are baked by church parishioners, and parishioner Adrianne Adams said they usually have about 100 pies to offer.

“Some of them are things that you can’t get in the store,” Adams said. “The flowers, too, are big draws. It’s springtime. It’s that time of year people want to buy their hanging baskets and patio planters.”

Because of COVID-19, St. Joseph’s had to cancel the sale last year.

“I’m looking forward to having it again,” Adams said. “And people tell us they look forward to it, so that’s always nice to hear.”

Cassie Buchman

I cover Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove, Prairie Grove and Oakwood Hills for the Northwest Herald.