GREAT FALLS — According to Governor Steve Bullock, agricultural businesses like greenhouses are considered essential in Montana, and Electric City Conservatory in Great Falls is working to keep the doors open.
While the greenhouse is an essential tool in fulfilling Great Falls’ planting needs, owner Meghan Kelly believes the conservatory is even more essential to her customers’ emotional needs.
“I choose to stay open basically because I think my customers need me more now than they ever have,” Kelly said, “In my eyes I think we’re essential because when people are sitting, you know, in a retirement home or whatever, sad because of what’s going on, they can’t get out, you know, you send them some flowers and at least it’ll put a smile on their face.”
Kelly believes flowers have the power to bring positivity back to the community. “They can brighten somebody’s day and you know make people smile and let them know - there is going to be an end to this at some point,” Kelly said.
However, after Easter weekend, flowers won’t be the conservatory’s primary focus. “We’ll still do cut flowers and we’ll always be doing deliveries, but our focus will be the outdoor greenhouse and the indoor greenhouse,” Kelly said.
Kelly hopes that once the plants come in, the customers will follow. In the past few weeks since coronavirus cases have escalated, she’s noticed a lag in business. “It's been slower because people don’t want to go outside, but we’ve gotten a few phone calls...but we’re not getting the foot traffic as normal like we usually would,” Kelly said.
However, one anonymous customer did come on foot to leave the conservatory a note reading, ‘Thank you for all you do Electric City...We appreciate you.' Kelly said, “It actually brought a tear to my eye. You know, it’s very stressful the time that we’re going through and I'm doing almost all of this by myself so it’s nice to know that you’re appreciated.
Kelly said she’s going to keep the conservatory open as long as she can. “We’re trying to stay open and stay positive and bring people smiles. We’re going to keep going and trying to make sure that we’re here for everybody. We just want people to know that we’re not going anywhere,” Kelly said.
Electric City Conservatory is located at 1413 5th Avenue North in Great Falls. Their current hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here to visit the website.