Capital Region florists prepare for a unique 2022 Valentine’s Day


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Capital Region florists prepare for a unique 2022 Valentine's Day

Capital Region florists prepare for a unique 2022 Valentine’s Day

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Jim Relles, president of the 75-year-old family-owned Relles Florist in downtown Sacramento, knows what he calls the “normal up and down cycle” that comes into play every Valentine’s Day.

Florists always need to prepare flowers for Valentine’s Day with the procurement, arrangement and delivery, which can be affected by a variety of factors such as winter weather conditions. The week of the February 14 holiday also affects deliveries.

Combined with having to deal with a surge in omicron variants of the coronavirus in early 2022, it means this year’s Valentine’s Day will never be a normal day for area florists. COVID-related issues such as supply chains and staff shortages have only added to the challenge.

“It’s a piece of crap,” Relles said in his office on Feb. 8, the first day the J Street florist began fulfilling orders. “All the national organisations say it’s going to be a good Valentine’s Day. People have money to spend. I hope they’re right because I’m gambling. I bought the flowers hoping we could sell them. Some are based on previous history, some just for it.”

However, Relles believes they will receive almost 95% of the flowers they need by Valentine’s Day, reporting that the number of delivery vehicles has increased to 18 compared to the normal seven. “We start placing orders very early, like in January,” he said.

Contreras Farms, which has been family-owned since 1980, doesn’t typically face flower supply issues because it grows its own flowers, said chief executive Jesus Contreras. But this year, they could face a shortage due to record rainfall at Montara Farms in late 2021. “It supports our flower production, with some crops damaged by flooding,” he said, adding that they plan to make up for small vase arrangements with major production rather than larger bouquets with more flowers.

“That way we can work to make sure none of our customers are left out,” Contreras said.

The farm has been a familiar figure in the Sacramento and Bay Area markets for years. Contreras recently opened a store on J Street downtown, but it closed in late January. The business is now focused on certified farmers markets that regularly appear at the Midtown Farmers Market and Arden Fair Malls during Valentine’s Day.

Julie Quattrin, the 11-year owner of Flowers by Fairytales in Elk Grove, continues to prepare as usual for this Valentine’s Day, although she says she will hand over the business to a new owner in early February.

“It’s been a challenge this year because we have to order everything in advance. We’re going to have extra designers and extra drivers,” Quattrin said in late January, adding that she would be stocking up ahead of expected supply chain issues vase. “The vases are from China, so we buy from four different sources in order to meet the demand. We really don’t know what to expect. Every Valentine’s Day, we are very overwhelmed.”

However, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, Quattrin will hand over the business to John Chatham after the deal closes in late 2021. Quattrin is getting married and moving to Southern California for a very Valentine’s day.

“I chose love,” she said.

Completed a bouquet of roses at Flowers by Fairytales in Elk Grove on January 25th.

At Flowers by Fairytales in Elk Grove on January 25, a Stuffed Valentine’s Day-themed puppy awaits delivery.

11-year-old owner Julie Quattrin, who recently sold Fairytales Flowers in Elk Grove, is planning to get married and move to Southern California.

Family-owned since 1980, Contreras Farms is a fixture at the Midtown Farmers Market and the Sacramento Certified Farmers Market at the Arden Fair Mall.

Valentine’s flower arrangements are being sold at the Contreras farm stand at the Farmers Market in downtown Sacramento on February 5. Contreras Farms grows its own flowers on the family farm in Montara.

Contreras Farms CEO Jesus Contreras adjusts a heart-shaped garland made of heather and eucalyptus at the downtown farmers market on February 5.

Emily Arnold (foreground) and Tiffaney Lawson fulfilled orders at the Relles Florist in downtown Sacramento, the first day of flowers for customers on Valentine’s Day, February 8.

Roses at Relles Florist in downtown Sacramento awaiting February 8 delivery.

The first batch of Valentine’s Day flowers are loaded before delivery on a Relles Florist truck on February 8.


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