Snow Challenges Florists Ahead Of Valentine's Day

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Joann Janda Schmidt, the owner of three flower shops in the Baltimore area, discusses the challenges of fulfilling Valentine's Day orders after back-to-back snowstorms. Schmidt says they did get a shipment of flowers on Friday and should be able to get flower deliveries done in time, though reaching some customers may be a challenge.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

In this part of the country, it's forgivable - almost - if youve forgotten that this Sunday is Valentines Day. Many of us have been consumed by dealing with this week's snow. And with lots of places still a big mess, florists are consumed with worries about getting flowers delivered in time.

Joann Janda Schmidt owns three flower stores in Maryland, and she joins us from her shop in Cockeysville, north of Baltimore. Ms. Schmidt, have you been able to get flowers in from the airports?

Ms. JOANN JANDA SCHMIDT (Owner, Janda Florist): Yes, we did. They were a few days late. We received them today, and they're in wonderful condition.

BLOCK: So you got them in Friday, but that doesnt give you a whole lot of time, does it, to get ready for the weekend?

Ms. SCHMIDT: Oh, no. We're starting our production of the long-stemmed red roses today and actually did a lot of the greening of the vases earlier in the week because floral greens tend to hold up a lot longer than the actual rose or cut flower.

BLOCK: Oh, so you put those in ahead of time.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Yes.

BLOCK: Well, is this true? I've read that some people actually like to get Valentine's flowers delivered at work, even if it's not on Valentine's Day so that, you know, they can get the admiration of all the people they work with? That would be today, I guess. This would be the last chance.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: That's absolutely true. We had quite a few office deliveries and business deliveries today. Fortunately, though, businesses tend to dig out, and the delivery is much easier than some of the homes that we'll be delivering to tomorrow.

BLOCK: And are you telling people, if they place an order now, can you guarantee it'll be there by Sunday?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Oh, guarantee is a strong word.

BLOCK: It is a strong word.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: We're doing our very, very best.

BLOCK: I have this image in my head of just scissors flying and clippers clipping wildly where you are right now, trying to get everything done in time.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Oh, that's absolutely true. We had 50 boxes delivered to us. And we have flower choppers and cutters, and the designers have their knives flying back there. It is really something to see.

BLOCK: Trying to catch up.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Yes.

BLOCK: Do you think there are places that you just wouldn't be able to get to, that the roads are still just too bad to get to?

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Yes, I'm sure there are. And we are calling on most of our deliveries that seem a little sketchy to be sure that their driveway is plowed, and we'd be able to deliver.

BLOCK: Pretty good excuse, though, for some people, I guess, if they need one. Well, you know, we just couldn't get the flowers delivered, honey.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Valentine's, such a love holiday. And it's my absolutely favorite in this floral business. So, I feel like they snowed on my parade a little bit this year. But anyway, we're doing our best, and I'm sure that the Valentines will be in for their flowers.

BLOCK: You know, I'm thinking a lot of people this week, a lot of couples, would have spent a lot more time cooped up together in close quarters than they ordinarily would have. And I'm not sure that would make it any more or less likely that they'd be sending flowers at the end of the week. What do you think?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Oh, that's a touchy one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms.�SCHMIDT: I'm not sure about that, either. More or less. I don't know, my husband and I, it seems like, yeah. Of course, we're both working in the business this week, so it could make it less likely that they'd be getting flowers.

BLOCK: Not too good for business maybe.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Maybe not. We'll know by the end of the week, that's for sure. But I'm still hopeful.

BLOCK: Well, Joann, good luck with everything.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Oh, thank you so much.

BLOCK: And Happy Valentine's Day.

Ms.�SCHMIDT: Happy Valentine's to you, as well.

BLOCK: That's Joann Janda Schmidt, owner of Janda Florist. She spoke with us from Cockeysville, Maryland.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

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