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Valentine’s Day in Columbus: A guide to flower shops

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Market Blooms, located inside the North Market in Downtown Columbus, offers a wide variety of flowers and bouquets that can be gifted for Valentine’s Day. Credit: Olivia Balcerzak | Lantern reporter

While buying grocery store flowers might be tempting — especially with Kroger just south of campus on High Street — there are plenty of flower shops neighboring Ohio State that specialize in making the holiday special.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a weekday for the first time since 2014, local flower shops have been expecting an increase of sales for deliveries rather than pick-ups, to sweeten up an otherwise normal work day.

Petals & Leaves, 1266 Goodale Blvd.

Petals & Leaves in Grandview gives the whole package. There is a wall full of ribbons, strings, wraps and boxes upon boxes of flowers for delivery to homes, workplaces and even dinner dates. The company will deliver a customizable, take-home centerpiece to any restaurant in Columbus.

While a dozen red roses is the store’s top seller, Petals & Leaves prides itself on offering a colorful selection of flowers to customers. Store owner Dee Conrad said the store has mainly male customers and orders according to that.

“Guys go for brighter colors like hot pinks and reds and purples, women have a tendency to go for more paler, neutral colors,” Conrad said. “So, we try to tell the guys ‘no, she’ll really like this’ but she’s going to like anything she gets.”

Conrad said the company is expecting to have between 150 and 180 deliveries just on Valentine’s Day this year.

April’s Flowers & Gifts, 1195 W. Fifth Ave.

With a sign that reads “Gifts for Cat People” outside the door and hundreds of cat themed gifts inside — along with two cats roaming around — April’s Flowers may appear as more of a cat-themed gift store than a flower shop. However, the fresh floral smell gives it away as a local flower shop, which has been owned by a family of cat lovers for 34 years, using their love for felines and flowers to make people smile.

“(Flowers) make people smile — that’s what our delivery people always say,” said owner April Bates Volpe. “Otherwise, they’re always wishing it was for them. When we deliver to a desk, a receptionist will say, ‘Oh, I hope those are for me!’”

Bates Volpe said that, next to red roses, color-themed mixed arrangements are the company’s top seller. She said April’s Flowers will receive thousands of flowers this Valentine’s Day to be delivered to cat-lovers and lovers alike.  

Market Blooms, 59 Spruce St.

The North Market will be blooming come Valentine’s Day as Market Blooms begins to stock its inventory for the holiday. Florist Brad Tingley said the store doesn’t start making arrangements until two days before Valentine’s Day.

“So many other places are so commercial, places like grocery stores are already starting to make their arrangements,” Tingley said. “We pride ourselves on being fresh.”

The shop is located toward the center of the market, wrapping around a corner with bins of flowers occupying almost every square inch. Tingley said the flower selection comes from all parts of the world, from Canada to the Netherlands, and arrangements can be customized.

He said that, like other local flower stores, the best seller is still a dozen red roses. The price increase of roses around the holiday makes tulips, whose price remains the same price during Valentine’s Day, a strong competitor. Last year Market Blooms ordered 2,500 roses and Tingley expects that number to increase this year.

EcoFlora, http://www.ecofloradesign.com

For those who want sustainability in both their relationship and the environment, there is Ecoflora — a company that gets its flowers almost exclusively from Columbus-area farmers.

The company’s focus on sustainability makes it no surprise that EcoFlora reuses flower containers. What is more surprising to the customer is what comes in that container.

Arrangements vary, but often include plants less commonly used in bouquets, such as succulents and branches.

“We don’t do anything traditional, so if you’re looking for a dozen red roses, we are not your florist,” said owner Eva Provenzale. “Our arrangements are very original.”

While designs aren’t customizable, customers can see examples of her work on EcoFlora’s website and order in the “contact” section. EcoFlora used to have a brick and mortar location in Clintonville, but has sold flowers exclusively online since last September.

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