Petal Perfect

August 2021 View more

By Kelly Aiglon

Back in 2009, the cool place to be before homecoming and prom was Andrew and Tonya Parravano’s Naperville garage. That’s where local high school students and their parents would pick up fresh floral boutonnieres and bouquets for the big dance. With Andrew creating the floral arrangements and Tonya running operations, they had a true homegrown business. Eventually, it bloomed so fast that the couple needed to take things to the next level.

They opened their first shop, Andrew’s Garden (, in Wheaton in 2013. It gave them a showcase for their artful work which had become popular for events and weddings. It also gave them the chance to sell all of their favorite things—from books about wine and cheese to spa-like scented candles. You’ll find the same today in their new space in downtown Naperville, in the former Alicia’s Photography space.

“We call it ‘floral couture’ because there is definitely a fashion twist,” says Andrew. “Everything is customized. We think in color palettes and style. It’s a very personal approach.”

European charm
Tonya speaks about the two locations like a jaunt around the globe. “We like to think Wheaton is Paris, and Naperville is London,” she says.

While both shops are similar in their European sensibility, there is a laid-back sophistication and touch of formality in Wheaton. On the flip side, Naperville is more energetic and trend-forward—and that snappiness shines through at the design counter. “Most flower shops have their counters at the back,” says Andrew. “Here, we have the counter front and center to really engage our customers.”

One thing is certain: Only the freshest stems make it through the door. New flowers arrive nearly daily and are arranged on the floor in glass jars. Blooms are sold by the stem, leaving customers the opportunity to piece together their own arrangement or have the designers at the counter do it.

Refined roots
When asked about how he got into the business, Andrew points to a vintage photo behind the counter. It depicts him as a young boy holding a bouquet of flowers. Design has always been in this entrepreneur’s blood; he once had a career in horticulture and landscape. Tonya is the self-proclaimed “wild card” in the story, having a longtime career as a commercial lending attorney. She left that job three years ago to focus on the business with Andrew.

As 20-year residents of Naperville, the Parravanos are firmly rooted in the neighborhood. Their favorite part of owning their business is connecting with their community. This was especially true in 2020, when the pandemic forced them to halt their events and weddings business overnight. As their retail business picked up because of the unfaltering support of their neighbors—plus a few crucial loans—they were able to not only hold tight, but grow.

The Parravanos’ steadfast dedication to the new storefront is clear. Nearly every morning, you can see Andrew outside the front door, tossing recycled rose petals on the ground to welcome passersby. For many, it’s a signal that inside you can find a real respite or slowdown from the daily grind.

“The biggest compliment we could ever get is when people tell us, ‘I would just like to sip coffee and wander around in here all day,’ ” says Andrew.

Photos by Alicia’s Photography