Omaha florists prepare for Valentine’s Day amid pandemic struggles

WOWT 6 News 10 p.m. Sunday newscast
Published: Feb. 6, 2022 at 10:37 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The biggest holiday of the year for the floral community is just under a week away: Valentine’s Day

“Valentine’s Day is a lot more hectic, a little crazier for us,” says Stefanie Lux, the assistant manager at Piccolo’s Florist.

With months of flower shortages and shipping delays, many florists weren’t certain how the holiday would look. Lux says this summer was when it was at its worst for them.

“Things were there, just not the quantity that we needed. Things were getting picked too early because all the workers were getting sick, and then when all that shipping issue, things were just stuck on the water so we had trouble getting glass, we were down to like nothing for vases for a while,” Lux says.

Lux says for them, things are improving. There are still some struggles with their trucking company, but they’re feeling confident for Valentine’s Day.

“We were a little concerned about getting them but everything has worked out and we got our first major truck, 200 boxes. We’re getting another one tonight, another one tomorrow, so, so far we’re doing OK.”

Lux says they’re projected to fill more than 1,000 orders this year. 700 of them will be deliveries.

While businesses like Piccolo’s Florist are starting to see a slow comeback, other local floral designers are still struggling.

This fall, John Fox who owns and operates John Fox Design told 6 News he was hoping the shortages and shipping delays would have subsided by Valentine’s Day.

“In some areas it’s gotten a little worse, in others it’s gotten a little better or has remained stable,” Fox says.

Fox says he places his orders, which are mostly specialty flowers, several weeks to months in advance, and he did the same for the upcoming holiday. He expects to fill around 100 orders.

“I saw prices averaging about 15-20% higher, mostly on the cost of roses, hydrangeas, peonies, the price of peonies are the highest I’ve ever seen them going into Valentine’s Day.”

But despite the difficulties the pandemic years have brought, these businesses remain optimistic about what the future holds.

“We’re going to be okay, I have plenty of flowers that are coming, I think most of the local shops will be okay, it’s just a matter of getting your order in as soon as possible,” Fox says.

Fox and Piccolo’s Florist are both still accepting Valentine’s Day orders, and say the earlier you place it, the better.

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