Courtesy. Stephanie Newton, owner of Tampa-based Posies Flower Truck, delivered more than 600 bouquets during the early weeks of the pandemic. Area businesses have had to contend with initial closings, changing delivery procedures, supply chain issues and a Mother’s Day bloom boom.

You can’t underestimate the power of flowers to cheer people up, even in a pandemic.

“It’s thoughtful, it’s refreshing, it’s something bright, natural and healthy,” says Jeff Gordon, the owner of Sarasota-based Suncoast Florist. “A number of our local customers comment that you just want something bright and fresh in your home.”

As more people choose to spruce up their houses or the houses of friends and family members with flower arrangements, some flower-related businesses in the area have gotten a boost during portions of the pandemic. But recent months haven’t all been rosy — florists have seen their share of sales fluctuations. Plus there are new precautions to take when delivering flowers to homes, hospitals, assisted-living facilities and other locations. Throw in a rose shortage, and they’ve got a whole bouquet worth of challenges.

April Showers

Gordon says the uncertainty that filled people’s minds in March and April led to a downturn in business. “We missed the Easter season, which was a pretty good hit, but we recovered as soon as possible,” he says. “Mother’s Day was just overwhelming. It was astounding.”

For his customers and customers nationwide, sending Mom a flower arrangement was still a safe way to mark the occasion during the pandemic. “Mother’s Day is the big one for sure,” he says. “Probably close behind that is Valentine’s Day. We just slipped that in before everything got crazy.” Industry: Floral Key: Florists and other flower-related businesses have seen ups and downs during the pandemic Trend: Navigating delivery issues is one of several challenges Michael Longo, the owner and designer at Naples Floral Design, says that since closing and then reopening toward the beginning of the pandemic, his store has gone through some changes. He reconfigured the retail area to make space for a designer, so employees were more separated. He also added tables outside, so customers could pick up orders without coming in.

Like at Suncoast Florist, Mother’s Day was good for Naples Floral Design, too — better than last year even. “It was a blessing because we got destroyed in March and April,” Longo says. Courtesy. Michael Longo, owner and designer at Naples Floral Design, says his business offered to bring special items to people who were separated from their loved ones, whether they were at home or in hospitals or nursing homes. Stephanie Newton, the owner of Tampa-based Posies Flower Truck, seized the moment during stay-at-home orders, delivering more than 600 bouquets. “I guess people were just using that to reach out to people they couldn’t see and for special occasions they couldn’t celebrate together,” she says.

Newton’s flower truck pops up twice a week at Hyde Park Village, an outdoor shopping area in Tampa, and visits other locations in the area, giving customers the chance to […]