It’s the time of year when newspapers thicken with sales circulars and holiday advertisements. Consumers looking to beat the hustle and bustle and steer clear of the crowds this year may want to pay attention to local businesses in lieu of trekking to nearby shopping malls.


The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are some of the busiest shopping days of the season, and they also can be some of the friendliest to small businesses.


Local native "Josie" which is short for Josefa Cantu Garcia knows this all to well as being a third generation business woman in the Alice area. Her grandmother Josefa Garcia Cantu known around the community as "Chepita" was the first florist in Alice and opened her business on Adams Street where she was known throughout the community and her daughter Irene Gonzalez Cantu whom followed the legacy with Cantu's Flower Shop on 502 East Front, Josie said.


Josie and her sister,, Laura Cantu grew up as little girls working in the flower shop with their mother and grandmother. Both daughters starting working at a young age and honored the women that raised them as being pillars of the community. Josie still has customers come into her shop and say her mother made all the flowers for a wedding or funeral and remember her kindness and beautiful flowers.


"I have customers come to the shop and tell me - my mom provided flowers for their wedding for free because they did not have the money,“ Josie said. ”My mom was a care giver and loved to give to her community-many times if someone didn't have the money she would still provide floral arrangements free of charge to make their event special."


Josie taught school for thirty years and after she retired she cared for her parents. The business was originally only a boutique but customers remembered her mother and asked for flower arrangements- the floral arrangements became so profitable now the boutique is also a flower shop following in the legacy that her grandmother and mother built three generations ago.


Small business owners often strive to provide the personalized, hands-on customer service. Repeat business is key to their survival, so they want to ensure shoppers are happy. The Cantu family and Alice Floral and Gift embodies the personalized customer service that only a small business can give by being a apart of the community and building relationships in the area they call home.