Located on Main Street, Pondelek's Florist and Gifts is one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in Hellertown.
Opened by Alfred Pondelek in 1942, the business began in Bethlehem and later relocated to Hellertown. The Pondelek family originally ran five greenhouses, before consolidating and relocating to their current location at 1310 Main Street seven years ago.
"I pride myself on gifts at every price and including local products in the shop," said current owner, Jacqueline Bodor. Bodor's husband was a third generation member of the Pondelek family, and over the years the business has remained successful because of their attention to detail and their relationships with their customers, she explained.
"What I enjoy most about being part of the Hellertown business community is getting to know my customers on a personal level," Bodor noted. "It's nice to know people's favorites, and that is something you cannot get at a big store. I even remember what customers got me for Christmas last year!"
For customers looking for something in particular, Pondelek's even allows them to step into their flower coolor in order to hand pick their flower selections.
The shop's busiest time of year is wedding season. Weddings are a specialty and Pondelek's employees travel to locations both in and around the Lehigh Valley in order to deliver floral arrangements.
"I am extremely detailed oriented to a fault, and weddings are all about the details. For almost all weddings I personally deliver to and set up the location," Bodor said.
Beyond weddings, Pondelek's offers a wide variety of services for all types of occasion. Bodor explained that they have different featured flowers every week. In fact, throughout the year the shop offers a 'flower of the week' every Friday and Saturday, as well as 20 percent off all arrangements in the cooler every Saturday.
Currently, 'tis the season for the shop's Annual Holiday Open House. For the first time everything in the store will be 30 percent off, and there will be a number of surprise giveaways, including a raffle for a chance to win a free arrangement every month for an entire year. The store is also stocked with many holiday gifts and decorations, including live and artificial wreaths and garlands, and hand-blown glass Christmas balls from a local glass blower.
The open house will be held Dec. 2-4 and the hours will be:
Friday: 8am to 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am to 4pm
Sunday: 10am to 3pm
These hours are slightly different from Pondelek's normal hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5:30pm, and Saturdays, 9am to 3pm.
Numerous Hellertown businesses will be joining Pondelek's for their holiday event. The community is welcome to come enjoy free food samples from local eateries such as Saylor's & Co., Sagra Bistro and Catering and Warm Sugar, a cupcake bakery that is located next door to Pondelek's. This year a special featured item during the event will be Amish-grown poinsettia plants.
It has become much harder to compete as a small business, Bodor said, but Pondelek's still enjoys seeing both familiar and new faces on a regular basis.