Chocolatiers, florists see enterprise growth throughout pandemic
In a year that has hit many companies hard, at least some local florists and chocolatiers say Valentine’s Day 2021 is turning out to be their best ever.
“We’re doing better than ever,” said Kerri Nealley, owner of Petal and Crumb in Upton. “There’s not much going out or eating out, so I think flowers will take the place this year.”
At the Green Mountain Chocolate Company in Hopedale and Franklin, owner Lisa Campbell sees similar successes.
“Our business is booming in the chocolate industry,” she said. “People bought for themselves, bought for others, bought for employees. …. We found that our chocolate sales have definitely gone up. “
Chocolate comforts, said Campbell. After months of uncertainty, fear, and isolation, people seek solace.
With Valentine’s Day on Sunday for school holidays this year, Hopkinton’s Sunnyside Gardens florist Carol Hurley said she would have predicted a quieter vacation if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
On Friday morning she said she was busy.
“Every Valentine’s Day is different,” she said. “Usually it’s quiet on a Sunday…. because people go away for the weekend. “
Her busiest Valentine’s days are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, she said.
However, Hurley pointed out that the pandemic has cost the flower industry many jobs that would come from weddings, showers, or other group celebrations.
“With COVID, it’s a very different situation for all of us,” she said. “Who knows? … We will be prepared with lots of beautiful flowers.”
At Petal Pushers in Natick, partner Liam Porter said orders are well above last Valentine’s Day.
“(People) can’t really see each other,” he said. “They send flowers.”
Porter and others said Valentine’s Day wasn’t their only success this year. Last May, on Mother’s Day, the Natick store placed twice as many orders as in the previous year.
“This past Christmas was our biggest Christmas,” said Campbell.
Last Easter wasn’t as successful as last year, Campbell said, but it was better than expected and customers were grateful to find an open space.
“Our people are great,” she said, adding that her team has carefully followed COVID-19 protocols. “You are so conscientious and such a close team. I really can’t say enough about it. “
Although many florists and chocolatiers are open for personal or roadside collection on Saturdays and Sundays, options are limited, and some places, like Green Mountain Chocolate, have chosen to close on Sunday.
“We really appreciate early orders,” said Porter. “The majority of orders every year, 65, 70%, come the day before, the day from. At that point it’s … the flowers go. There are only so many roses. “
So order early next year, he said.
Last minute shopping? Here is a selection of what’s open on site this weekend.
Note that there is a limit to the number of people who can be in stores at the same time.
Alison Bosma can be reached at 508-634-7582 or [email protected]. Find her on Twitter at @AlisonBosma.