The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Beno’s Flowers and Gifts opens holiday pop-up in Coralville

The local flower shop is preparing for the holiday season with festive products and flowers at its Iowa River Landing pop-up location this year.
Alyssa Miner
Store associate Penelope Wilkins (left) helps Dawn Anderson (right) during Beno’s Flowers and Gifts grand opening in downtown Coraville on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

The Iowa River Landing in Coralville welcomed a new business Wednesday morning with the opening of Beno’s Flowers holiday pop-up shop located at 919 E. 2nd Ave. 

The small corner store opened at 10 a.m., inviting customers into a wonderland of festive cheer, complete with warm holiday scents, ornaments, and wreaths. For the next two months, the shop will continue to bring holiday joy to the Coralville area, along with the original Beno’s in downtown Iowa City. 

Owner Benito Ocampo said the Coralville pop-up is a chance to expand on the Iowa City location, with larger and more diverse products that are centered around the holiday season. He said Beno’s may remain at the Iowa River Landing location past the holiday season, as well. 

“We’re so grateful that they gave us the opportunity to open for two months, but we want to see how things go,” he said. “There’s a possible chance that we will stay longer, and we look for another space around here.” 

Ocampo opened his first business, a small gift shop, in Morelos, Mexico, where he initially found a love for flowers at a young age. As a young adult, he moved to Illinois where he continued to gain knowledge about the floral industry, before coming to Iowa. 

He said he always had intentions of opening his own floral business and after moving to Iowa with his partner and finding the right place for the store, he was able to do just that. 

The original shop sits between Get Fresh Cafe and Iowa Book at 107 E. Iowa Ave., just off Iowa City’s Pentacrest in the middle of campus. First opened on Nov. 16, 2018, Beno’s offers a plethora of unique items, including various candles, crystals, and of course, plants. 

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Ileana Bo Minor, a Beno’s employee for over a year, said the Ocampo’s relationships with the local community and flower farms is what makes the business so special. 

“He works really hard to meet everyone’s standards and create unique arrangements that you wouldn’t just find in a grocery store,” Bo Minor said. “It’s his art and his craft. He’s practiced a lot and put in a lot of work.” 

The shop is preparing to celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The Iowa City location will commemorate its half-decade journey on Nov. 19. 

Ben Dent, also a long-time Beno’s employee, said being able to see the Ocampo’s excitement for the store and this milestone is beyond exciting. He said local customers regularly come in with family and friends to show them the store, leaving him thrilled with how much impact a small business like Beno’s can have. 

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About the Contributors
Sydney Becker
Sydney Becker, News Reporter
Sydney is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism, while also obtaining a writing certificate. Previous to her role as a news reporter, she worked as a sports reporter for The Daily Iowan during her freshman year and as an editorial writer for campus organizations.
Alyssa Miner, Photojournalist
Alyssa Miner is a second year at The University of Iowa studying Enterprise Leadership and Studio Arts. Miner is a photographer for the Daily Iowan and captures wedding and senior photos in the summer.