By Carolann Ryan
Fashions in Flowers has been on the cutting edge of floral design for the past 60 years, and this Northport business shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Current owner Debi Triola serves the community well, providing flowers from around the world for any occasion while also giving back to the village that supports her as much as possible. For this reason, she is a Times Beacon Record Newspapers Person of the Year.
Triola, a lifelong Northport resident, has been the owner of Fashions in Flowers on Fort Salonga Road for 11 years, although the shop has been running since 1955. Among the many hats she’s worn over the years, she is the current director of the Northport Chamber of Commerce.
“I am definitely lucky to live here,” Triola said.
Barbara Sorelle, a colleague of Triola’s at the Northport Chamber of Commerce who works for Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk, said Northport is just as lucky to have Triola.
“Debi is a wonderful, caring person and gives so much to our community,” Sorelle said in a phone interview. “As members of the board of trustees of the Northport Chamber of Commerce, it has been a pleasure to work with her over the years.”
It is about more than selling flowers for this local business, according to Triola. She said she always keeps the shop busy by getting involved in Northport events as much as possible.
“Part of the job as a small business is to help the community,” Triola said. “It is a given, giving back.”
And give back she does. From something as small as donating flowers for school district functions, like Northport High School’s Relay for Life, to helping organize events such as the Northport Farmers’ Market and Tuesday Family Fun Nights in the village, Fashions in Flowers makes sure to leave their mark at many community gatherings. The business has worked with local organizations like the Cow Harbor Warriors, The Northport American Legion Post 694 and the Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk.
“Debi Triola is so generous to our community,” said Susan Modelewski, a cancer survivor involved with organizing the Northport Relay for Life event. “For years, Debi has donated corsages to the survivors who attend Northport’s Relay for Life survivor reception and she is also a contributor to [the] St. Charles Hospital Auxiliary Northport Chapter. Debi is one of the many reasons why Northport is such a great place to live.”
Fashions in Flowers also supports local artisans, such as the Northport Candle Kitchen, by selling their products at the shop.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, Fashions in Flowers has worked hard to spread holiday cheer. Recently, the staff volunteered to decorate the intensive care unit of Huntington Hospital and participated in Northport’s annual tree-lighting ceremony, which includes the annual leg lamp-lighting at Northport Hardware Co. and a visit from Santa himself.
“That is what I love about Northport,” Triola said, when asked why she cares so much about her hometown. “We are a tight-knit community here. We all help each other, whatever we can do.”