You Flipped

When you flipped your calendar this morning what did you see? February! 

It’s time to order your Valentine’s Day roses! Why? Because your local florist has to order them, bring them in, process them, cut them, de-thorn them, hydrate them, and yes, arrange them and get them into the delivery queue!

doz super red roses

What is the most important part of this process? No, it’s not the one you think it is! It’s the COLD CHAIN. That’s the part where the roses are cut at the farm (usually in South America), brought into Miami or Los Angeles and then placed into a cooler. Other than the short time the roses are in customs, they are continuously in a cooled environment, from the port to the airport to the flower shop to you.

No, Fed Ex doesn’t provide this service. Neither does UPS. Or the US Mail. The flowers you get for cheap when you shop on the ‘net and they’re shipped in a box don’t go through the Cold Chain.  Even the flowers you buy at your local grocery store don’t have the benefit of the Cold Chain.

That’s why you need to buy your flowers from your LOCAL FLOWER SHOP!


65 thoughts on “You Flipped

  1. I had no idea that it takes so much work before you recieve your beautiful flowers. I have always bought flowers from my local florist and prefer it to buying online.

    • Oh, my gosh, yes! So much goes into a quality floral arrangement…this is just the tip of the iceberg! It takes years of experience and knowledge to recognize how different flowers are grown (amount of nitrogen makes a difference in the stem, for example) and what their life expectancy is! It’s not just putting pretty flowers together in a vase!! I am PROUD of you for buying flowers from your local florist. Buying online simply gives the money to someone out of the country who pretends to be a local florist! Thanks so much for supporting this industry.

  2. Good info..I never knew about the Cold Chain. Flowers from a florist last longer than anywhere else. I have received flowers from the discount flower places and they die very quickly.

  3. I had no idea about the cold chain! We do really well with flowers from the local grocery store (only one in particular) but I’ve gotten many (including my wedding flowers) from places that obviously didn’t know about the cold chain, either. Is this something we can ask about at our local shop?

    • Liz, I think what you say is true. But most of us don’t have local farmers to provide our flowers any longer. We used to have thousands of acres of flowers grown in Phoenix, but the land is now apartments. So we have to import the flowers. That’s why the Cold Chain is so important to the life expectancy of the flowers. Once they sit on a tarmac or in a fedex or ups truck for the day (in the heat or in the freeze) their life expectancy decreases. They need to be treated, hydrated and kept constant in order for the consumer to have a great product.

    • You’re so welcome! We’ve been gearing up for February for a few weeks now, and pretty soon (aka in a few days) I’ll be AWOL from this group so I can work on roses, roses and roses for Valentine’s Day delivery. We’ll turn on our additional coolers, get our vases ready and greened, confirm with the additional drivers, bring in the roses, roses and more roses, and then the work starts!

    • I wish it would slow down, sorta, because it’s really a fun time of year for us. No, not really, it’s really one day of torture! Getting ready for Vday can be fun! It’s the last minute people who make me nutso!! (especially the guys who order at midnight on the 13th thinking they’re going to get their flowers delivered FIRST THING on the morning of the 14th)!!

  4. Hi Tina, you ladies are going to make so many people happy this upcoming Valentine’s Day!! I know I’d love to receive one of your arrangements, or gift baskets!! Have a busy and fruitful season!

    • And so you can, Tarlyn! You can still work in a local flower shop! We’re small and we don’t bring in help because we’d be stepping on each other (literally) but there are other places. You might want to see if someone could use your hands and excitement a week from Friday!

  5. I didn’t know about the cold chain. It’s so important to order from people who know what they’re doing and not just from somewhere that has a really low price.

  6. I would only buy special flowers from the flower shop. You can tell the difference. I have never heard of cold chain before, but I always wondered how the flowers looks so fresh in the dead of winter!

    • I’ll let you in on a little secret, Cynthia. We had 3 boxes of roses on order for last Thursday. They were stuck somewhere in the midwest and we didn’t get them until Friday. That means there were on a truck a day longer than normal. But the truck was refrigerated (not like ups or fedex) and when we got the roses on Friday we processed them, hydrated them, and they are incredible! The point is, when you keep the Cold Chain the flowers are still chilled. But when they are transported by ups or fedex without the Cold Chain they will freeze or wilt, whichever season it is.

    • Vday is one day of torture. Mother’s Day is about a week. The difference is the delivery. All flowers MUST be delivered on February 14th. But mom? Well, they can go on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are more deliveries for Mother’s Day, but it’s not as much work to handle the deliveries. Is that as clear as mud?

  7. I had no idea about this at all. You learn something new everyday. We usually buy online but now may have to find our local florist and help support our local business in the meantime.

    • Yes, Amanda, please stop ordering online (unless you order directly from your local flower shop’s website). Please find your local flower shop and support them. The Big Guys (that would be FTD, Teleflora, 1800flowers, From you Flowers, Just Flowers, Proflowers, etc.) take your order, charge you a processing fee, and then turn the order around to the local flower shop at a 73% discount!! Our industry is self-destructing and only you, our wonderful neighbors and friends, can save it! Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  8. I always thought that we use cold chain in transporting perishable food products only. Well, it is equally important that flowers should undergo this process too. Flowers for Valentine’s Day are sweet but “fresh” flowers would be more special because they are prettier and would last longer.

    • Yes, Pauline, you are so right about the importance of the Cold Chain. Where is breaks is when a person orders flowers online and they are shipped in a box. The Cold Chain stops when the box hits the ups or fedex plane, the tarmac, their hanger, and their delivery trucks.

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