“We’ve got roses, we’ve got lilies, we’ve got carns, we’ve got sunflowers…” said Christine Vasconcelo as she shows us around her Tampa flower shop, Bloomingdays Flowers.
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Lack of product is no issue, but lack of customers is.
“It’s down. It’s not where I expected to be,” said Vasconcelo.
Vasconcelo says Valentine’s Day is usually the biggest day of the year, but a pandemic year has proved otherwise.
“I need to sell whatever is in the cooler, so it’s scary. But we didn’t have school deliveries this year, teacher deliveries, work deliveries. Everything is down,” said Vasconcelo.
Last year, she says she had roughly 900 orders.
This year, it’s been about a quarter of that.
So she and her staff are working all hours to try and make up for it.
“I thank God for the internet which allows you to find open florists at 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day,” said customer Kieran Mahoney.
Which is exactly Vasconcelo’s goal— be there when the customer needs you, and they will support you in return.
“We gotta keep chugging. We gotta move forward. We gotta be here for the customer,” said Vasconcelo.
So while you spread the love this Valentine’s Day, Vasconcelo asks that you consider showing some love to small businesses, too.