DRACUT — In just a few days, floral delivery vans will be on the roads in great numbers, bound for homes and workplaces. Creating floral arrangements at a feverish pace behind the scenes will be all the local floral designers. For them, Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year.
Among them are Karen and Tom Pierce, who bought Forget Me Not Florist in Bridgewood Plaza four years ago. The Chelmsford residents have even added something sweet to their repertoire — fruit bouquets, including a Valentine special of a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries. Tom, a former pastry chef and retired lieutenant at MCI Shirley, oversees the fruit bouquets and deliveries while Karen works her magic with florals.
Before the Valentine rush, the couple relaxed in their cozy floral shop to discuss roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, and the Bridgewood Plaza collaboration among the butcher, the baker and the florist.
Q: Has the economy had an effect on flowers and Valentine’s Day?
A: (Karen) Valentine’s Day, no. Day to day, yes. We’ve been steady and consistent during all the holidays. It helps that we have the butcher (Brown and Budnick) and the bakery next door (Sugar Coated Bakery). We’ll offer specials and all three of us will do very well. We do see more and more people wanting to support the local businesses rather than the big-box stores. Dracut has been very good about that.
Q: Are roses still by far the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day?
A: (Karen) Oh, yes. People want red, gorgeous long-stem roses because red is love. Second is pink and third would be what is called lavender, sterling or cool water. We do also get requests for pink lilies, called Stargazers. It’s all according to trends or what people might see on TV.
Q: About how many deliveries will you make on the 14th?
A: (Tom) I’d say 80 or 90, probably close to 100. Some will be delivered on Monday. About 70 percent to 80 percent of the deliveries go to the workplace, so we go to Hudson, Tewksbury, Billerica, all over the Merrimack Valley. For me, it’s a big change from the Department of Correction to delivering flowers. This is bringing joy instead of negativity.
Q: How do you keep up?
A: (Tom) We have a lot of help. Family and friends volunteer to help us on that day.
(Karen) It’s also important to be prepared, just making sure everything is ordered and ready to go. You have the product ready, the store ready and then you need lots of patience. It’s a big adrenaline rush and I live off of that. I love all the excitement and the gratification in knowing that you are doing something nice for someone. That’s what makes this business. We do get tired physically but not mentally. But you have to have the personality for it — sort of living on the edge.
Q: What will you be offering for fruit bouquets?
A: (Tom) We’ll be offering a combination of roses plus a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries or any other fruit bouquet. You can send either one or both. The focus for Valentine’s Day will be the chocolate-covered strawberries–a dozen arranged in a tall crystal wine glass, black-tinted.
(Karen) Whether flowers, fruit or both, it’s best to order ahead. Now is good. But we know that the whole world is last-minute and we’re ready for last minute, too. We always accommodate those requests.
Forget Me Not Florist, 1794 Bridge St., Dracut; 978-441-3000; forgetmenotfloristdracut.com.