Boens sell gift-floral store to Pelican area farm couple Jessica, Joe Shulstad

One of the highest profile corners in Pelican Rapids will continue as a colorful place of blooms, greens, flora and fauna. 

Pelican Rapids area couple buys Brown-Eyed Susans retail store; take over shop May 1.

Brown-Eyed Susans has been purchased, and the retail storefront will continue at the intersection of Highways 108 and 59. 

Selling the inventory and name was founder Patti Boen, and husband Mike.  The new owners are Jessica and Joe Shulstad–who are taking over May 1. 

For the Shulstads, they’ve been considering a business opportunity locally–so Jess could discontinue her daily commute to Fargo, where she has been office manager for a West Fargo electrical firm for nearly a dozen years. Meanwhile, Joe continues the family’s farm tradition in Pelican Township, northwest of Pelican Rapids.  He’s also a handy guy, with a sawmill and a range of craft skills. 

“I love flowers, and growing and creating,” said Jess, a 2003 graduate of Barnesville High School. After reading the article in the Pelican Rapids Press, that the Boens were preparing to retire, Jessie realized it was a rare opportunity. “Patti and Mike have done all the legwork. They created just what we wanted.” 

An established, “turn-key” business appealed to the Shulstads. 

It also helps that Jess has been a regular customer at Brown-Eyed Susans over the years. 

“It is one of my favorite retail stores in Pelican, and I’d hate to see it close,” said Jess, who has accounting, marketing and customer service background.  

Patti Boen will be staying on for at least a month during the transition. Patti and her sister Connie Simons launched the business out of their home, then moved “uptown” in  2014.  First, in the lower level of the Muddy Moose; and then to the former Crossroads restaurant location. 

Mike and Patti Boen, right, welcome new owners to the Brown-Eyed Susans store in the Pelican Rapids downtown business district. Buying the business effective May 1 are Joe and Jessie Shulstad, left. The store has become a visible part of the retail community in Pelican Rapids.

“They’re going to be around to help mentor us.  There’s a lot to absorb on ordering, inventory, and planning for the different seasons,” said Jess. 

“We’re more or less getting our feet wet first, so we know what we’re doing before we dive into any changes or new plans that may or may not work,” said Jess, who said she’ll be working closely with floral manager Lori Hanson.  

Joe, a 2000 graduate of Pelican Rapids High School, said he would be largely behind the scenes –but is considering adding some custom wood-working merchandise he creates in his shop. 

There are plenty of local connections to the Shulstad family.  Joe’s late father Dan had been a dairy and crop farmer for many years.  Joe’s mother is Susan, and his grandmother, Helen Miller, was a long time school teacher at Pelican Rapids elementary. 

“We’re so pleased that local people stepped forward to continue,” commented Mike Boen. “We’re happy that that corner will continue to be a thriving place.”