Business Profile

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Title and firm: Pamela Culbreth owns Chocolate Lilly Floral & Gift.

Services: Besides floral arrangements, Chocolate Lily carries high-end DeBas chocolates, beeswax candles and variety of other gifts.

Biographical information: Culbreth's second job out of high school was working in a flower shop in Fairbanks. Since then, though she has held a variety of jobs, including several in the medical field, she never has strayed far from flowers often doing special events and arrangements for friends.

Opening the shop in the Kootznoowoo Building late last year is her first venture into the business by herself, she said. Facing one of the two busiest times of the year, Valentine's Day turned out better than she thought.

"We did pretty good for our first Valentine's," Culbreth said. "We ran out of flowers about the same time we had our last customer."

Coming up with the name of the shop proved the toughest part of opening, she said. She was going to call it Stalk Market, but that was taken by a Seattle company. Then she came up with the name of a beautiful local flower with an unpleasant smell.

"I don't think people think of that," Culbreth said, adding that many people don't know what the alpine flower looks or smells like.

And the name fits well with the shop's stocks of flowers and chocolates. The shop's candles and assorted gifts reflect her influences, which include the Pottery Barn and comparable shops.

"I want stuff you can only find here," she said.

Family: Culbreth is married to Ray Culbreth, who works for the state Department of Public Safety. They have two sons, James, 14, and Matt, 24, who is in Portland, Ore.

Notable: She was raised "out in the sticks" around Fairbanks where her father and several relatives had 60-acre homesteads.

Quotable: "Everything in the store is for sale," including the counters, clocks and wall hangings.

Employees: Culbreth has one part-time employee who comes in when needed.

Contact information: The business is located at 8585 Old Dairy Road across from the Nugget Mall in the Kootznoowoo Building. It's open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 790-9661.

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