Warren’s Flowers and Gift Baskets

Warren McCluney makes appealing arrangements for any ocassion

Warren McCluney works on a floral arrangement inside his home in the Cedar Grove subdivision.

MAX REED/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.

Northeast Gainesville resident Warren McCluney is using the knowledge he received about floral arrangements from the late Edgar Washington, a longtime Gainesville florist and the owner of Art-in-Flowers, who died earlier this year.

"I used to ride around with Edgar for many years and I watched him and saw him create many flower arrangements for funerals," said McCluney, owner of Warren's Flowers and Gift Baskets, which he operates out of his home in the Cedar Grove II subdivision.

McCluney specializes in sympathy arrangements made of silk and/or live flowers, but he also does other flower arrangements. He said it "really is a science" to making floral arrangements and there is a lot that goes into floral mechanics. He received formal floral arrangement training in 2009 at the South Florida School of Floral Design in Lake Worth.

McCluney said although he had formal training, he said Washington had a big influence on him. "I was amazed at how much he cared about his customers," McCluney said of Washington.

McCluney is the younger brother of the late Howard McCluney, founder and owner of McCluney's Orthopedic & Prosthetic Services, one of the first black-owned companies of its kind in Florida when it opened in 1982 in Gainesville.

Warren McCluney said the sympathy floral arrangement business is a special service for a special time and it is important to him that his sympathy arrangements reflect on the life of the person.

Southeast Gainesville resident Liz Williams has used McCluney to make a friendship basket, a sympathy floral arrangement and a floral arrangement for her home. She said his work is very beautiful and he has a high level of professionalism.

"He had very professional ideas about how I should coordinate my colors," said Williams, adding that McCluney's prices are very reasonable. "He is excellent with coordinating arrangements according to the situation, be it a funeral, wedding or whatever."

Clovis Watson Jr., a candidate for the Florida House District 23 seat and the former city manager of the city of Alachua, has also used McCluney for his floral needs. He said McCluney is doing an admirable job filling the void left by Washington.

"I know a lot of people, so I am always sending flowers to funerals, and I use Warren because he is good at what he does," Watson said. "I have used his services a number of times and he is always willing to meet my needs."

McCluney is confident he is going to be able to grow his business and carve out his own niche in the Gainesville floral industry because of "my willingness to go the extra mile. I will take my time to do whatever the customer wants me to do and that is important to growing the business."

McCluney said making sympathy floral arrangements is a tangible service and his customers always give him direct feedback.

"People will tell you the comfort you bring to them," he said.

The phone number is 352-215-1577.

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