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So Cincinnati: Jones the Florist
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 07:02 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- Jones the Florist has been arranging flowers for people in Greater Cincinnati for 149 years.
The florist is getting ready for the busiest day of the year: Valentine's Day.
"Mother's Day is actually a bigger holiday from a revenue standpoint. But Valentine's Day is when it comes in in the shortest time frame. It's the most challenging operationally," said Joe Rozier, President of Jones the Florist.
Jones delivers flowers and gifts all over the city and nationwide. The company has a wholesale division that fulfills orders for other companies.
"We do business mostly with FTD, 1-800-FLOWERS, Overstock.com and actually a company in Chicago, LTD as well," Rozier said.
Red roses are the biggest seller on Valentine's Day. Jones has ordered 30,000 roses for the holiday. The long-stemmed beauties are grown on mountainsides in South America. Gail Leifling orders all of the flowers.
"It's a lot of math. It's a lot of rethinking, making sure you've included everything and you haven't double added anything," Leifling said. She added, "You don't want to have too many roses that are just going to run out."
The roses are stored in a climate-controlled cooler to ensure they'll stay fresh on the journey from the mountain to a person's home.
"The key is we keep them chilled and hydrated until we're ready to pull them out," Rozier said.
Floral designers have been prepping vases and tying ribbons to cut down on the chaos on Valentine's Day. Emily Romer has worked at Jones for five years.
"All of the vases need water and they need greens so once an order comes through we can just put the flowers in. It's very crazy. Very busy but it's actually an organized crazy," Romer said.
Rozier said many of the customers who call at the last minute to place orders on Valentine's Day are men. But, he advises them to call early.
"It's a guy-ordering holiday which means they come in very late. The best orders are the ones that come in about mid-day on the 14th and say holy cow, can you help me? I forgot," Rozier said with a laugh.
Each arrangement is packed with care and wheeled on a cart to one of the company's signature pink delivery vans. On a typical day six or seven drivers deliver flowers. On Valentine's Day 40 will be working.
In its 149-year history, Jones has had three owners. That's the reason one of the city's oldest businesses is So Cincinnati.
"We feel Jones belongs to Cincinnati and this is our time and place to take care of it for the city," Rozier said.