The consensus of the five independently-operated Menlo Park florists is that Valentine’s Day is their single biggest day of the year, followed by Mother’s Day. That’s confirmed by Society of American Florists: Of fresh flower purchases, Valentine’s Day ranks number one, capturing 36% of holiday transactions and 40% of holiday dollar volume.
Last year the estimated number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day was 198 million. Forty three percent of those are red roses. Given the holiday’s association with red roses, we thought it might be fun to ask our local florists what could say “Happy Valentine’s Day” better – or more uniquely – than the traditional choice.
Cindy Smith is the dean of Menlo’s florists, operating Cindy’s Flowers and Gifts (below, right) for 27 years, currently on Santa Cruz Ave. near the train station. She likes the combination of red tulips, a Mylar balloon and a box of chocolates. “But it’s hard to beat roses,” she said. “Ninety percent of my orders – a mixture of local and FTD – are roses.”
Jeffrey Adair first opened J Floral Art on El Camino in 1990. Partner Craig Kozlowski joined him when the shop moved to Santa Cruz Ave., where they served customers for 10 years. About five years ago, they moved to Edison Ave., and their loyal fans, both corporate and private, followed. (Flowers featured at top are from J Floral Art.)
“We do less and less ‘dozen roses arranged’ – and less red – every year,” said Jeffrey. “People come to us for the ‘floral art,’ so we create one of kind arrangements tailored to the person who is receiving them – color, personality, energy, interests all come into play.”
Katherine Guisto, owner of A Bed of Roses (below, left) on Hamilton Ave., created a mini press sensation when she presented Facebook CFO David Ebersman with a bouquet of flowers at the end of the social networking company’s press conference announcing its move to Menlo Park, a location that makes Facebook a neighbor of the floral shop.
“A trip to a day spa would be my pick,” Katherine said, explaining that as a shop that takes FTD orders, she has to stock up on many flowers to fulfill all the available choices. “Personally, I love the thought of an all white arrangement, using white hydrangea, calla lilies and stock. That’s because my two favorite flowers, peonies and lilacs, aren’t in season.”
Much of Indelisa Montoro’s business is providing floral arrangements for weddings and events, which she does from her shop Royal Bloom Boutique (below right) located at the Allied Arts Guild on Arbor Rd., opened in October 2010. She does fulfill individual orders, too.
“My suggestion is flowers that somehow speak to the recipient’s personality and show thought and effort,” she said. “For this Valentine’s Day, a customer wanted to give flowers to his vegan, very outdoorsy girl friend, so I put together a bouquet that includes thistles, curly willow bark, cone flowers and tulips.”
Menlo’s newest floral shop is Twig and Petals (below), located on Menalto in the Willows. Said owner Bella Hick: “People love traditional and there is nothing wrong with that! But we like to spice up the traditional dozen red roses with branches, berries and other interesting textures and foliage.
“For people looking for nontraditional, low lush ‘compact’ arrangement are really in right now. Monochromatic arrangements can also be very striking and elegant. For someone looking for something that will last longer, I always recommend orchids as a beautiful alternative. There are so many varieties – not just what you see at grocery stores!”