Maple Grove Business Lifts Spirits with Balloons
It was no April Fool’s Day joke. A store that opened up April 1 last year in Maple Grove is now having the last laugh by bringing smiles to people across the west metro. There’s no other store like it in the northwest suburbs.
“I really think there’s a need for a unique business like ours up this way because we’re getting more and more customers,” said Lyn Larson, who manages the Maple Grove location at County Road 30 and Maple Grove Parkway.
The business opened its first location in Minneapolis 13 years ago, but decided a location in Maple Grove was needed due to the sheer volume of deliveries up this way.
Larson left a job in insurance to help run the store.
“For me, this is just something I’ve always loved to do. I can look at something and get an idea and just start creating from it,” she said.
The balloon designer hasn’t looked back, lifting people’s spirits in the midst of a pandemic.
“Putting a balloon bouquet on a driveway or making an arch that somebody could sit under, people just really wanted to keep celebrating,” said Larson.
The Corner Balloon Shoppe estimates it has close to 1,000 different types of balloons to choose from. New options include ones that blow up to life-like size, such as a 6-foot stormtrooper. Others play music.
Customers can walk in and pick out one or two simple balloon options. But others can also order elaborate displays.
“We can almost do anything with in reason, unless it’s been discontinued,” laughed Larson.
And the balloons aren’t just for kids. Designs can be done for baby showers, weddings, graduation parties, retirement celebrations and business events .
“We actually did a Freddie Mercury one. That one came about because this woman called and her son was turning 32 and he looked like Freddie Mercury,” recalled Larson.
Larson will even do site visits to help with planning and design.
“For me that really is helpful, because you can walk into a space, and I have this weird mind, and I can go ‘I think this will look good here, I think this is an idea we have there.'”
And Larson says that leads to the best part of the job.
“I’ve knocked on doors, little kids have come running up or they’ll peak out the curtain, and then they just start jumping up and down, and then you bring the balloon in, you know, that’s why we do what we do.”