Payson Florist Changing Hands

Gift items on sale to make room for new inventory


Rita Jorgenson (left) has purchased Payson Florist from Marilyn Dedman and will take over the business April 21. Dedman and her husband, Merlin, are moving to Idaho to be near family.

Rita Jorgenson (left) has purchased Payson Florist from Marilyn Dedman and will take over the business April 21. Dedman and her husband, Merlin, are moving to Idaho to be near family. Photo by Alexis Bechman. |

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One of the area’s best-known and biggest gift shops is changing hands.

After seven years, Merlin and Marilyn Dedman have decided to sell the business, at 800 N. Beeline Highway, and retire to Idaho.

Rita Jorgenson will take over April 21, implementing a number of changes.

Jorgenson plans to sell off much of the business’ gift line and replace it with gardening supplies, including pots, birdhouses, bird feeders, plants and garden art.

Jorgenson, a master gardener, says she also wants to change the name to Payson Florist and Plantscapes to reflect the shop’s new direction, which will include plantscape design services. Jorgenson ran a plantscape business in Payson a number of years, creating gardens at both the Rim Club and Chaparral Pines.

While Jorgenson is excited to implement the changes, she says she also plans to keep much of what made Payson Florist and Gifts great.

The floral end of the business will remain the same and the shop will still carry gifts, but with more of a gardening flare.

For Marilyn Dedman, the changes are bittersweet.

Dedman said she is sad to leave a business she has seen grow, although she is excited to start a new chapter of life. Under the Dedmans’ ownership, the store was expanded twice and won “best of” awards four years.

Due to health concerns, including two major surgeries in two years, Dedman said it is time she takes it easy.

The couple is moving to Idaho Falls, Idaho to be near family and explore their options.

“I am not sure what God has in store for us,” she said.

Dedman said she is confident in Jorgenson because they share similar beliefs and values.

One thing that will not change at the shop is the staff, many of whom have been with Dedman for years and helped carry the store when she was recovering.

“They have really stepped up,” she said. “They are like family — without them there is no business.”

Jorgenson said she is already working with staff to transition the store’s line of goods, which will happen gradually.

Throughout the month of April, most of the shop’s gift items will be on sale to make room for new inventory.

Jorgenson said she plans to follow Dedman’s example closely, acknowledging her skill kept the business afloat in an economy that has claimed many retailers.

For more information, call (928) 474-0710.

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