A Day in the Life: A Flower Shop for Valentine’s Day | News, Sports, Work


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A Day in the Life: A Flower Shop for Valentine's Day | News, Sports, Work

A Day in the Life: A Flower Shop for Valentine’s Day | News, Sports, Work

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On Monday, February 14, the front desk at Tama Florist was busy as Valentine’s Day shoppers would come in at the last minute to place orders or pick up flowers for their special someone. The photo behind the counter shows Jody Kakosh, Rick Simpson and John Kakosh helping Wade Brown and Joey Keener buy flowers. —Photo by Davin Graham

This week, florist retailers across the country are having one of the biggest holidays of the year.

In Tama, the Tama Florist staff have been bringing smiles to the Tama-Toledo community for more than 40 years and adding sparkle to Valentine’s Day.

Last year, owners John and Jody Karkosh celebrated 40 years as owners of Tama’s Little Red Florist, one of the few destinations in the area that offers a full range of floral arrangements and gifting.

For the past month, Tama Florist has been preparing for the Valentine’s Day holiday as the Karkoshes’ family quietly held their breath as they waited for orders for supplies, flowers and merchandise to arrive. Recent supply chain issues have caused delays in some of the florist’s orders, but fortunately most orders are reported to arrive in time, just not in a predictable manner.

Valentine’s Day on Monday, February 14th started early for the Karkoshes as they arrived at the store at the east end of Tama around 5.30am to get the place ready, not only for the steady stream of Customers are facilitated, and a team of 16 workers is at work during the busy holiday season to keep the small business running smoothly.

Tama Florist’s delivery volunteers took a moment to take a group photo on a busy Valentine’s afternoon. Pictured are Norma Kriegel, Mac Chyma, Betty Karkosh, Pat Albert and Becky Faircloth. —Photo by Davin Graham

The company opened multiple phone lines to make sure no one was turned away by a busy tone. A team of four designers schedules during the day, while another team focuses exclusively on delivery. Another person works just at the computer all day, while the rest of the team helps with orders or the front desk as needed.

Holiday workers arrived at stores around 7 a.m. Monday, and Valentine’s Day deliveries began almost immediately, making deliveries to homes and businesses in all directions within a 20-mile radius.

A cooler organization system, located near the store’s back door, helps separate orders by morning or afternoon delivery and where they’ll be delivered on the same day.

Owner John Kakosh said Valentine’s Day was a good one this year. Orders for flower arrangements have increased compared to last year, and some mild winter weather has allowed delivery drivers to travel to and from their delivery locations without having to wrestle with snow and ice.

In recent years, Karkosh has noticed that flower varieties such as lilies and gerbera daisies are gaining popularity in traditional Valentine’s Day flower products such as red roses and carnations.

Floral designer Barb Mason prepares Valentine’s Day arrangements for the busy holiday season at Tama Florist on E 5th Street in Tama City on February 14th. —Photo by Davin Graham

Kakosh said that despite the recent trend, he noticed that clients seemed to want more unique rose arrangements this year.

Despite rising market costs over the years, Tama Florist also promises to make their flowers affordable for the community of Tama-Toledo. Their Valentine rose prices have remained the same for nearly 20 years, Kakosh said.

The Valentine’s Day frenzy finally came to an end around 6pm on Monday night, making for a full and fulfilling day for family and friends helping out at the store.

Over the past few years, Kakosh remembers that sometimes funerals were held on top of their major festivals. One year, he remembers them attending three funerals on the same day as Valentine’s Day holiday.

“When that happens, we usually work all night,” he said.

Trevor Rohach smiles as he carries flowers he ordered at Tama Florist on Valentine’s Day. He is pictured with shop owners John and Jody Kakosh. —Photo by Davin Graham

During the busiest part of the day on Monday, Karkosh said, customers stood side by side in their 566-square-foot retail showroom, waiting to place orders for their special ones.

“Jody and I both work out a lot at the florist because we love working with the public and meeting people we know,” Kakosh said. “We love helping people in a way that makes their Valentine’s Day special”

Even though they’ve been florists in Tama City for 41 years, there are still volunteers to help them through their busy 40-year vacation, Kakosh said. Likewise, he said, for the past 40 years, there have been local clients and their families who have made Tama Florist part of their annual holiday experience.

“We’ve had people ordering from us every year for years,” Karkosh said. “They are very good at ordering flowers in advance, which is very helpful for us so we can make sure we have the flowers we need.”

While Karkoshes has been the face of the industry for years, the legacy of its flower business at 1200 East 5th Street in Tama goes back further.

On Valentine’s Day, the delivery goes from the back door of the Tama Florist to its destination. —Photo by Davin Graham

The site is said to have been started as a greenhouse in 1853 by the Waller family. During the second half of the 19th century, the site changed ownership several times and the greenhouse was owned by Fred and Elizabeth Dagner, George Maxwell and Richard Appleton, who are believed to have owned and operated the business between 1878 and 1918. The store itself was built in 1920, according to county assessor records. Over time, additions to the building were added before the Karkoshes took ownership.

The company was known as Tama Florist in 1940 by then-owners Stan and Velma Schreiber.

The Karkoshes started the business in 1981 when they moved back to the Tama-Toledo area to find a viable route to work in their home community.

Although a comprehensive history is unlikely, the Tama Flower Shop likely claims to be one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Tama Prefecture.

For the Tama couple, the decision to put down roots in Tama and continue their traditional flower business in the community was also a simple one. It comes down to the idea of ​​family, family and community.

Chris Van Hamme is one of four designers working to prepare arrangements for hundreds of clients in Tama-Toledo and the surrounding area on Valentine’s Day. —Photo by Davin Graham

“We were all born here and raised here,” Kakosh said. “We keep our business here because we love the area, the people here, you know, everything.”

IMG_2000 Trevor Rohach was all smiles as he set off with his Valentine’s Day flower order at Tama Florist. He is pictured with shop owners John and Jody Kakosh. — Photo by Darvin Graham IMG_2003 IMG_2017


IMG_2028 The front desk at Tama Florist is a busy place on Monday, February 14, as Valentine’s Day shoppers make last-minute orders or pick flowers for their special someone. The photo behind the counter shows Jody Kakosh, Rick Simpson and John Kakosh helping Wade Brown and Joey Keener buy flowers. – Darvin Graham photo on IMG_2039 Chris Van Hamme is one of four designers working hard on Valentine’s Day, preparing arrangements for hundreds of clients in and around Tama Toledo. — Photo by Darvin Graham IMG_2040 Floral designer Barb Mason prepares a Valentine’s Day arrangement at Tama Florist on E 5 Street in Tama City during the busy holiday season on February 14. — Photo by Davin Graham


IMG_2045 On Valentine’s Day, the delivery goes from the back door of the Tama Florist to the destination. — Photo by Darvin Graham IMG_2051 Tama Florist’s delivery volunteers take a moment to take pictures on a busy Valentine’s afternoon. Pictured are Norma Kriegel, Mac Chyma, Betty Karkosh, Pat Albert and Becky Faircloth. — Photo by Darvin Graham IMG_2078


IMG_2081 Tama florist Jody and John Kakosh help a customer at Tama’s on Valentine’s afternoon. Last year, the couple celebrated 40 years as business owners. — Photo by Darvin Graham IMG_2085 IMG_2095

Tama Florist owners Jody and John Kakosh help a customer at their store in Tama on Valentine’s Day. Last year, the couple celebrated 40 years as business owners. —Photo by Davin Graham





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