• 68°

Local florists gear up for Valentine’s Day

VALLEY — With Sunday being Valentine’s Day, local florists are very busy right now taking orders and scheduling deliveries of beautiful floral bouquets for that special someone.

LuAnne Sims of Floral Expressions off Trammell Block is grateful to have a small business that’s been going strong for three decades now. For the first 15 years, she was on the south end of Trammell Block. She’s now in her 16th year on the north end.

“Business has been good so far, and it’s keeping all of us busy,” she said. “We wear masks and encourage our customers to do so as well. We try to social distance as much as we can. This past year has been difficult for all of us, but we have been blessed. It could have been worse. COVID-19 hasn’t hurt our business that much, in fact we have been flourishing. I am so appreciative of my customers and the support they have given us over a long period of time. I like it when they call me and ask me to make something nice.”

It’s quite a compliment when they trust your ability to make beautiful arrangements that much.

“My children grew up in my shop, and they want me to stay in the business,” Sims said. “My grandson, Colby Tanner, is coming in from Troy this weekend to help us in the shop. My husband, Daryl, will be helping this weekend as will my daughter, Joy Yates. My grandchildren, Chase and Carly Yates, will be out of school on Friday, and they will be helping out. I am so proud of them. Many kids couldn’t tell you the difference between a rose and a carnation. They know every kind of flower I have in my cooler.” Sims said that she is living her dream. “Being a florist and having my own business is a true-to-life dream come true for me,” she said. “It’s what I have always wanted to do.”

Once she gets past the Valentine’s Day rush, the next busy period will be the day leading up to Mothers’ Day.

Her sadness for 2020 is that she lost both parents. Her mother, Carolyn Thomaston, died in April and her father, William Thomaston, died in October.

“They’d been married for 64 years,” Sims said.

Valentine’s Day is a family affair for Pat Shaddix at Pat’s Creations, located on the ground floor of the historic Langdale lodge hall. While Pat, daughter Stacey and granddaughter Andreana, are making floral arrangements for the dozens of customers who are calling it, husband Billy Shaddix, makes the deliveries.

“Most of our sales are deliveries,” Shaddix said. “But a lot of people come in to carry out something.”

There are lots of beautiful arrangements inside the shop that customers can choose from. Since it’s Valentine’s season, there’s one thing every bouquet has in common. There’s at least one rose in it.

“We have most anything customers ask for,” Shaddix said. “We have mixed cuts, plant baskets, cut baskets, baskets with candy and teddy bears.”

Shaddix is in her 26th year of being a florist.

“We will be sending out orders past Valentine’s Day,” she said. “We will be sending them out well into next week.” Steve Sorrells of the House of Flowers said that the pace of business will be very hectic for him until 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

“We have learned to take 80 percent of our orders in advance,” he said. “Some people will call you at 5 p.m. on Valentine’s Day asking you to fill an order. We tell them it’s too late. When it’s 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, it’s time for us to relax. Then again, there’s those who will call you several days in advance and ask if it’s too late. That’s the kind of customer you want to do business with.”

Most of the flowers that will be going out through the weekend are kept in a cooler inside the business. There’s an overflow cooler out back that’s for the busy periods like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. Sorrells is very careful to adhere to public health recommendations on Covid-19. The House of Flowers makes deliveries in an area that covers an estimated 400 square miles. It extends south to the bridge over Lake Harding, east to Kia and all of Chambers County.

Sorrells will be doing something that’s new for him this Valentine’s Day — delivering on Sunday.