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NY: Middletown Small Businesses Gather to Provide the Community With Some Holiday Cheer

Published: December 14, 2022
Children pose for a photo with Santa at a free event hosted by Jennifer Bernal, owner and operator of Eternal Bouquets by JM in Middletown, New York on Dec. 11, 2022. (Image: Courtesy of Eternal Bouquets by JM)

On Sunday, Dec. 11, several Middletown, New York small businesses held a free “Pictures With Santa” event hosted by Jennifer Bernal owner and operator of Eternal Bouquets by JM, a local florist. 

Music and a 360° video booth were provided by Echo Entertainment NY and local photographer, Trent Joachim, was on site to capture the moments and provide pictures for participants. 

Santa was provided courtesy of The Barber & Cigar Company, and showed up in style thanks to Armani’s Limo.

Several local bakery outfits were there to provide Christmas themed sweets. The Ott’rageous Cookie Company was onsite with their infamous cookies in addition to Julie’s Bake Shop who provided cupcakes and JVega 3 Sixty attended and provided candy canes and cupcakes as well. Sweet Party Cakes were also on site providing lucky participants with their custom cake pops. 

In conversation with Vision Times Bernal said that the event had a “great turnout” and that she was “appreciative of all the small businesses who contributed to make the event possible.”

John Smith Jr., member of the Harlem Wizards basketball team, poses with his family at a Pictures With Santa event hosted by Middletown New York’s Eternal Bouquets by JM on Dec. 11, 2022. (Image: Courtesy of Eternal Bouquets by JM)

The event attracted a local celebrity and his family as well. John Smith Jr., a member of the infamous Harlem Wizards basketball team, attended and enjoyed the festivities. 

Bernal established Eternal Bouquets by JM in March, 2021 amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, turning her passion for floral design, a hobby, into a thriving business.

“I did, I took a leap of faith to pursue my passion to share joy, happiness and comfort through the art of flowers,” Bernal told Vision Times, adding that “and I am most grateful for the wonderful support of our Middletown community.”

Bernal explained that there were several Santa events in the community however they all came with a fee. “Not everybody can afford it … it’s a tough economic time for some people,” she said.

Bernal described the joyous occasion saying, “When we were here on Sunday it was laughter, all I could hear was people laughing, laughing, laughing … There were a lot of people who came in with their kids. The kids had fun, they ate sweets, [and] they had the videos afterwards.”

Concerning her inspiration to launch her business Bernal said, “As a daughter of immigrants, as an immigrant myself, as a minority and veteran family owned and operated business, we seek to inspire so many others who want to take a leap of faith and start their own business while they pursue their passions.”

According to her website, Bernal said she became infatuated with flowers at a young age, inspired by her mother who used to pick them for her. She told Vision Times that as a young single mother she worked full-time while studying and raising her daughter, earning an Associates degree in addition to a Bachelors and a Masters degree. 

Custom Floral installation designed to create the illusion of floating or being suspended in air by Eternal Bouquets by JM (Image: Courtesy of Eternal Bouquets by JM)

“When I had my daughter I was living on my own. I was a single mom … working full time, going to school full time, being a parent full time, being a single mom. It’s been a little rough” she shared with a laugh. 

After graduating, Bernal spent years working in Yonkers in public housing rising in the ranks to a leadership role however, she said after some time that her “mission” had been achieved and she then sought an opportunity that would allow her to express her creativity, something where she could have some creative freedom, thus Eternal Bouquets by JM was born. 

Her business is thriving with customers raving about her service. “Stunning floral designs, Jenn’s an artist,” reads one review. “Jen went above and beyond to make my vision into reality!” reads another review by a happy customer who secured Bernal’s services just one week prior to her wedding. 

Eternal Bouquets by JM is located at 12 North Street in Middletown, New York. Bernal can be reached at 845-741-7422 or via her contact page on her website here.