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Surviving the pandemic: Longtime florist hopes to see business bloom again

Surviving the pandemic: Longtime florist hopes to see business bloom again

CHALLENGES: Flowers by Tand owner Dolores Tuncap speaks about the challenges her business has faced during months of closure due to the governor’s executive order. Tuncap says her business has adapted and believes businesses like hers can survive the pandemic if restrictions are lifted. Dontana Keraskes/The Guam Daily Post CHALLENGES: Flowers by Tand owner Dolores Tuncap speaks about the challenges her business has faced during months of closure due to the governor’s executive order. Tuncap says her business has adapted and believes businesses like hers can survive the pandemic if restrictions are lifted. Dontana Keraskes/The Guam Daily Post TUNCAP: Flowers by Tand owner Dolores Tuncap is shown at her store in Tumon. Tuncap said if she can stay open from now until the end of the year, her business can survive. Dontana Keraskes/The Guam Daily Post TUNCAP: Flowers by Tand owner Dolores Tuncap is shown at her store in Tumon. Tuncap said if she can stay open from now until the end of the year, her business can survive. Dontana Keraskes/The Guam Daily Post Step into Flowers by Tand in Tumon across from the Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park and it’s clear that the holidays are near.

While October might be a bit early for some to begin hanging wreaths and mistletoes, owner Dolores Tuncap has learned to stay ahead of the game in her 43 years in business on Guam.

“Once you pass summer you start doing Christmas," she said. "This is always an occasion that you look forward to."

Looking back on what this year has brought thus far, Tuncap said it’s been a challenging several months.

“Everyone is having a hard time,” she said. "Out of the small businesses, I’m sure everybody is really suffering.”

Forced to close while Guam was in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1 for two weeklong stretches since March, Tuncap reopened last week when the governor relaxed some restrictions.

“It’s like you had a bad dream and you are waking up,” she said.

But the floral shop has other obstacles to face during the pandemic.

“During the lockdown, the flowers are not coming in like they used to,” Tuncap said. “That’s the challenge. We cannot sell something that we don’t have. The selection of flowers is not there anymore.”

Ironically, it’s tropical flowers that she has the most difficulty getting shipped to this tropical island.

“Birds of paradise, gingers, orchids – that’s our main thing, that’s our signature,” she said.

Flowers she used to get from Thailand or Korea before the pandemic now must be sourced from California or Florida. And with the many restrictions on flights these days, the cost of shipping flowers is "super high," she said.

"Guam is challenging because everything we sell here is coming from off island. It’s not like you can just go to growers here,” Tuncap said.In years past, the Christmas holiday meant big orders to decorate the hotels in the tourist district.“That’s not going to happen this year. The hotels are not open,” she said. ‘We are survivors’ Even though the road to recovery may be […]

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