WALLINGFORD — Love was in the air a week before Valentine’s Day as the Wallingford Flower Shoppe on Center Street prepared bouquets of fresh red roses and garden flowers for customer orders.
The Record-Journal stopped by to talk with owner Sal Greco and wedding specialist Tammy Rose Sirois about the business and one of the busiest times of year.
Q: How long have you been in business here?
Greco: My mom and dad started this business right here at 190 Center Street in Wallingford in 1950, and we’ve been here ever since.
Rose Sirois: I have been working here for approximately 30 years. This is my passion.
Q: What is your background in this kind of work?
Rose Sirois: I went to Berkeley School of Art for fashion merchandising and actually I specialize in color which I think is really important because I think I use that everyday in my job.
Q: What are some skills you need to be in this business?
Greco: You really have to have a background and a mind that is open to art. It’s a very artsy business, you’re dealing with colors, textures and designs. A background in art is very helpful to becoming a designer. You have to possess the skills of working hard under a production environment because people either come in off the street and want their flowers immediately, or they want them delivered to their loved one or the occasion in a timely manner.
Q: What is your busiest time of year?
Greco: May. There are a lot of events in May starting with Mother’s Day which next to Valentine’s Day is the second most hectic day for us in the flower business.
Q: What is a popular arrangement for Valentine’s Day?
Rose Sirois: I would say the classic dozen (red roses) is very popular, but what I think is equally popular is a beautiful Valentine garden assortment.
Greco: We carry probably 20 different varieties and colors but red roses are still number one by a long shot.
Q: What are the most popular flowers for all seasons?
Greco: Garden flowers, an assortment of beautiful flowers in a bouquet, is probably the most requested item, other than roses, on a daily basis.
Q: How short do you cut the stems of flowers for bouquets?
Rose: We try to make them nice and clean on the bottom so it’s easy to put in their own vase. We do tend to leave the stems on the longer side so if they did want to cut them shorter when they get home, they could.
Q: Where do the flowers come from?
Greco: We get flowers from all around the world, six days a week believe it or not. Anywhere from Holland, California, the Philippines, South America and Ecuador. We always have a rotating fresh stock which gives our customers a lot of choices.
Q: What’s it like being able to continue the family business?
Greco: Well my mother, who is 92, is still here everyday and when customers come in they’ll always remind us ‘oh your mom and dad did my grandfather’s wedding back in 1960.’
The flowers that leave here today are just as beautiful as when my dad was here and making them for the fifty plus years he did the design work here.
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