Friday, February 17, 2012

Friends of HKS: Guest Blogger Series

Ever wonder what it's like in a flower shop on Valentines day? 
Well you're in luck because today's hks Guest Blogger Barb Evans from Kent Florist is giving us a peek at the all lovey dovey mayhem.  
Back Room Confidential:  
Tuesday Feb 14th -4:43am and I'm up. It's dark and cold and my work day will be done around 6pm. Shower, dress, throw some cereal and yogurt in a covered bowl for later and pop it in a carry bag. I can't face breakfast this early.  
Yesterday we organized everything. Wrapping stations are stocked with labels and tissue paper, boxes, pens, scissors, ribbon, knives, tape etc etc. Make no mistake. This is a science. No military campaign has ever been given more thought and organization. In the 16 years that I've owned the Kent Florist, Roberta, Helene, and I have honed it down to a streamlined ballet. We can't afford to take the time to search for supplies and we really don't want to get in each other's way. There might be snarling. Soon Janet and Stephanie arrive and jump into the mix.
Valentine's Day used to be just another “Hallmark Holiday” to me. Barely a ripple on the calender. But working in a flower shop gives all annual occasions a special significance. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mothers' Day ... they are all sane and sensible days which are anticipated and planned for (sometimes) weeks in advance by – okay I've got to say it here because there is no way around it- women. But flowers at Valentines' are almost exclusively purchased by the other sex; ie the sex not well known for planning and purchasing ahead. 
So it all happens last minute. Luckily some extraordinary guys have called or come in on the 13th and we spend the first coffee soaked 2 hours arranging and wrapping their orders for the delivery drivers. But we just know the real fun will begin when the phones start ringing shortly before 8am. ...4.....3....2.....1....OMG !!! Bedlam!!!!!!
I just have to say here that delivering is a whole separate story and I know Karl, our good natured driver could write a book. He frequently amuses us with anecdotes about the homes he visits, people he encounters, dogs he likes (and dislikes). You can just imagine. Today we also have Dennis, a retired friend, who likes the odd foray into madness (thankfully) or we would never get all the orders out on time. 
Our boys start sorting and loading up shortly after 8am. They have to cover rural routes  in Woodville and Beaverton, Washburn Island, Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, and Omemee as well as businesses and homes in Lindsay. 
Luckily for you the day passes in a blur and we collapse at 5pm with a glass of white wine. Myrah joins us after school with energy just as we fade. The last few stragglers on their way home have missed out on the standard red roses. We sold out at around 1pm. But they cheerfully accept our recommendations and leave with more exotic bouquets and aren't their girls the lucky ones? At 6pm we lock up and scatter home to our respective bubble baths. Helene and Roberta and I just spent our 16th Feb 14th together and yes it is still fun.

Thanks HKSisters for asking us to tell our story. We are avid fans of your wonderful blog. 

Keep up the good work.

To visit Kent Florists website, go here!


  1. WOW Barb (and all the ladies/gents that make up the shop) what organized madness!! Looks like fun though- making such pretty things that make people happy. 16 years sheesh! Here's to 16 more! Thank you for posting on our blog!


  2. I will never take those Valentines Day roses for granted again! They have extra meaning now. Great post Barb. Hope your fingers are not too torn up by the thousands of thorns you must have cut off.

  3. Oh good, I just figured out how to comment. Go Kent Florist, go! Marg. xo.

  4. Hi Barb,

    Love the little snapshot of life in a flower shop!
    Pictures are beautiful as well.

    Thanks again for guest posting!



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