4:45 min December 04, 2022

Meet the Small Business Owners of the Poconos

From beautiful plants to delicious baked goods, Pocono Television Network goes behind the scenes to meet the small business owners of Gorgeous Floral in Hawley and the Waterwheel Cafe in Milford.

Meet Katharine Brown, the green thumb behind Gorgeous Floral on Route 6 Hawley open for about one year now but already having an impact on the Pocono business community as both a florist and destination for enthusiasts.

“The light alone, when they opened up the back two walls,” said Brown. “The plants are just ‘awwwwwww’ I'm here and flourishing.”

As part of the Settlers Hospitality Group, Gorgeous still embodies small business values and a shop local mindset for any occasion.

“We try to source as much as we can locally for the season, then it's the processing, the storing the cooler,” she said. “We're appreciative of the customers that come in, new and regulars, open for a little more than a year. Hopefully making people happy.”

Making people happy is exactly what Nancie Simonet and the Waterwheel Cafe in Milford have been doing for three decades. 33 years to be more exact.

“It just started as a bakery and went from there, sandwiches, introduced a few entrees for dinner and just kind of grew,” said Simonet.

The Waterwheel has called its historic property home all these years which is a former grist mill. You can see the inner workings of the mill up close while grabbing a bite or a drink in the bar.

“A lot of European people say it has soul, it evokes emotion when you come in here.”

With more than 30 employees, the Waterwheel is constantly churning and really exemplifies the small business spirit of the Poconos. The owners, husband and wife, making it work for all these years.

“He’d come home at 2 in the morning and I'd be up at 6 in the morning and we just be like ships passing, a little beep of the horn as I'm coming down the hill and he's coming up the hill. Definitely a labor of love because it occupies your life,” added Simonet.

When it comes to cultivating a following - Katharine at Gorgeous Floral is making it a labor of love as well.

The Gorgeous team hustles behind the scenes to make weddings and other occasions special and it's all done with perseverance and purpose.

“Everyone's working hard, to be in small business at the moment is particularly challenging, inflation, the prices of everything. It's just very challenging. That's why our goal is to nail every experience, to make happy customers, to make happy memories, to make them last. To give the experience of something,” said Brown.

Six days a week the mantra is the same at the Waterwheel, the passion for serving customers within a community part of the fabric of the Pocono Mountains and its small business flavor.

“This community reminds us of that often, whenever I get down and think I can't do this anymore, I'm exhausted, somebody will say you're feeding us, you're nurturing us, you don't stop to think about those things until someone points it out to you. Then you're like OK, take a breath,” said Simonet.