Florists are working long nights to ensure Baraboo couples have a good night Wednesday.
With Valentine’s Day just hours away, Baraboo florists were busily preparing Monday. A delivery truck stopped around 3 p.m. at Baraboo Floral on East Street, which this week ordered six to seven times its normal level of daily inventory.
“We have piles more flowers come in than we would on an average day,” designer Dawn Hirst said.
Wednesday will be profitable but hectic for Baraboo’s flower shops. Preparing for its first Valentine’s Day in business is Blooms Unfold on Linn Street, which opened last fall. Owner Cindy Weber said her staff already has prepared several arrangements for sale, and will put in long hours to fill custom orders. “We are excited and ready for all of that,” she said. “We plan to have a beautiful, busy first Valentine’s Day.”
Wild Apples will once again put a musical twist on Valentine’s Day arrangements, with “Campfire Kevin” Murphy delivering serenades along with flowers. For the past 10 years, he and shop owner Missi Selden have invited customers to choose from a list of 50 love songs, and pay $15 to have Murphy deliver the flowers, guitar in hand. This year, he bought a red sequin jacket for the occasion.
“They like the love songs,” Murphy said. “They’re really appreciative of the people that someone did this for them.”
Last year, Murphy made a dozen deliveries. Regardless of how many get scheduled for Wednesday, he’ll have a busy day: Murphy also is playing Valentine's parties at Our House and The Barn Restaurant.
He’s got nothing on floral designers, who will field last-minute orders through Wednesday. Business will slow but continue Thursday, as sheepish shoppers who forgot to buy their loved one flowers strive to make it up to them.
Hirst said Baraboo Floral hires four additional staff for the days leading up to Valentine’s, and doesn’t stop there. “We recruit a lot of family members,” she said.
Monday represented the calm before the storm, which will roll in Tuesday. Baraboo Floral typically sells 150-200 arrangements for Valentine’s Day. “That’s when the phones will be ringing off the hook,” Hirst said.
While love will be in the air elsewhere, stress will descend on Baraboo’s flower shops. After 35 years in the flower business, Hirst said she doesn’t look forward to Valentine’s Day. But she takes comfort knowing her work benefits others. “To make someone else happy makes you feel good,” she said.