Arts & Life, Features

Valentine’s Day brings flower frenzy to local businesses

The month of February is a busy time for flower shops and Long Beach Flowers on 2080 Pacific Coast Highway is no exception. They began their preparations for the floral rush in early January.

Yanet and Rafael Aldrete, Long Beach Flowers’ owners, opened their shop in 2020, adding their second location, Blooms on Broadway, in 2022. With two stores to manage, inventory is a top priority.

“We do take pre-orders about a month in advance and … they close up maybe about two weeks before Valentine’s,” Yanet Aldrete said. “And then from there, we gather everything that we need for those pre-orders. We obviously get extra inventory for any walk-ins.”

The Aldrete’s hire Valentine’s Day seasonal workers to help with the extra material they order. Seasonal workers can pick their schedules and help deliver flowers and prepare greenery bases for pre-made bouquets.

Rafael Aldrete feels more prepared for Valentine’s Day this year than in previous years because there are more seasonal workers.

“Sometimes if it’s busy then we do stay overnight, sometimes it would be all night,” Lead shift worker Daisy Redondo said. “We work long hours and just prep and it’s easier when we close and we’re not helping customers.”

To ensure pre-orders are completed on time, Redondo and the other employees try to complete orders two days before the pickup time. However, because Long Beach Flowers also prepares pre-made bouquets for day-of purchasers, it can be difficult to stay on schedule leading to night shifts.

Customers can ask the floral designers to make bouquets based on a certain price point or inspired by a picture or specific color schemes and they will create it on the spot.

At Long Beach Flowers roses and their one-face vase wrapped in wax wrap are among their most popular options. However, mixed flower bouquets and bouquets for men are becoming more popular.

A bouquet’s price depends on the type of flower and size of the bouquet.

Customers looking for smaller, more affordable bouquets can find the $10-$12 options at Blooms on Broadway at 2543 E Broadway. A bouquet’s price depends on the type of flower and size of the bouquet and it’s up to the customer to set their own price limit. Yanet Aldrete recalls having made $500 and $1,000 bouquets.

The level of preparedness that the Aldrete’s have is a result of their first Valentine’s Day experience when they had no extra helpers and had to put a cap on pre-ordered bouquets

“We couldn’t take any walk-ins the day of because we didn’t even have the people’s orders ready when they came in,” Rafael Aldrete said. “So definitely a learning experience, you know, we learn as we go.”

There is now a limit of five pre-orders per hour. Even with the limits, Long Beach Flowers’ workers are preparing to make more bouquets on Valentine’s Day.

Long Beach Flowers opens at 5 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, but Rafael Aldrete expects to see a line at the front door by 4:30 a.m.

“We’re pretty blessed to be honest, to be well-liked by a lot of people,” Rafael Aldrete said. “I feel like we have pretty good customer service and that’s what we mostly focus on.”

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