Valdosta Daily Times

February 14, 2014

Flowers on arrival

Florists prepare for the biggest delivery day of the year

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valentine's Day has arrived! The holiday of chocolate, teddy bears, jewelry and — especially —  flowers.

The demand for flower arrangements has florists across Valdosta hard at work preparing for their biggest holiday of the year.

The team at Azalea City Florist said, "We had to pre-order so much ahead of time. We started right after Christmas," said Tanya Whitaker, a designer at Azalea City. Whitaker has been with Azalea City for more than seven years, and in that time she and the team have learned the in’s and out’s of pulling off a successful Valentine's day.

"We've already taken over 200 orders for this year. We started getting ready at the first of the week, cutting and processing flowers. We have worked late every day. We have had to hire extra help and get extra vehicles. It's always busy."

Central Floral Company has also been preparing since December for the big day and began tying bows and stocking vases as early as last week.

Sandy Avila, the manager at Central Floral and a 35 year veteran florist, knows just how important this day is for the customers.

"I think that Valentines is so special because it makes a lot of people happy. Of course it's a woman's holiday because the guys are the ones that you see out here. They are on a mission to please their special sweetheart," said Avila.

Bruce Sumner, manager at Zant's Flower Shop, also understands the needs of the customers during this time.

 "Our customers know that with local florists we can deliver the flowers for them. For a lot of people, it's as easy as making one phone call and telling us what they want and then we get it delivered. With a local florist they don't have to worry about ordering them off the internet and them being shipped on time," said Sumner.

Zant's has been preparing for Valentine's Day since January and the staff has worked until at least 9:30 p.m. every night this week to get orders done on time.

"Most of our workers have been working 12.5 hour days. We've had to hire five extra drivers, three extra counter workers and three part-time designers," said Sumner.

The Flower Gallery has been helping make their customer's Valentine's Days perfect for 45 years. Susan Mullis, 14 year owner of The Flower Gallery, and her team have been hard at work for weeks preparing for today.

"We started ordering flowers more than a month ago and we started tying bows and prepping nearly two weeks ago," said Mullis, adding that The Flower Gallery will sell over 2,000 roses, 400 tulips, and 300 fresh mixes by the end of the day.

"Valentine's Day is a time to show that special someone how much you love them, and there is no better way to say that than with flowers," said Mullis.