Give NJ florists a break — order Valentine’s Day flowers now
Sleep will have to wait until Thursday night for employees of Rosie Posies in Manalapan.
Felicia Housenbold-Bindler, owner of the flower shop along Union Hill Road, said her staff is working around the clock, even after the doors lock at 7 p.m. this week, to handle the not-so-surprising influx of orders placed ahead of Valentine's Day.
It gives them some breathing room for when the doors are open, and handling both in-person and over-the-phone requests takes away from time to design arrangements and bouquets.
"Between Wednesday and Thursday we sell 5,000 roses," she said, adding there are sharp customers who pick up on the difference in quality between flowers purchased at a store like hers and flowers purchased at a supermarket.
Flower shops across New Jersey are bracing for "48 hours of complete chaos" leading up to and including Valentine's Day. They've spent this past weekend getting a head-start on orders that have already been placed.
"The people who are ordering now, thank you," said Michelle Jones, owner of Flower Bar in Brick.
She's grateful some customers have asked for delivery on Wednesday, but the lion's share of deliveries will, as always, land on the big day. So it's all hands on deck ... or wheel.
"I actually have my regular drivers and then I recruit my mother, my husband, my son is staying home from college that day," Jones said.
Jones said the shop will be staffed until past 6:00 Thursday night for last-minute lovers.
"I'll have something for them, even if it's the cactus in the corner with a red heart on it," she said.
On Valentine's Day, phone orders won't be an option at Jersey Shore Florist in Neptune, according to co-owner Chris Donofrio.
"We take the phones off the hook on the day of," he said. "That started about five years ago. We just can't get to everybody."
Donofrio said the staff is comprised only of himself, his father and two other employees. The shop prepared about 150 arrangements over the weekend — some are spoken for, most are not.
Valentine's Day is not the busiest time of year for most flower shops. Business blooms most in the month of May, which includes Mother's Day, Memorial Day, prom season and graduation season.
"Valentine's Day at its worst is 48 hours of complete chaos," Donofrio said. "May is one month of sheer terror."
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.