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Local flower shops prepare for busiest time of year

Local flower shops prepare for busiest time of year

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POSTED February 12, 2010 9:58 p.m.
Love is in the air and flower shops are pulling out their best amore bouquets for Turlockers to give to their special someone this Valentine’s Day.
With chocolates, jewelry and cards as other popular gift ideas, flower shops still find this to be a prime day for business. There are over 20 flower shops in Turlock that are putting their best rose forward this Valentine’s Day.
“It is the busiest time of the year for us,” said Ailin Yadegarian, manager of Yonan’s Floral. “We spend weeks cleaning flowers and basically stocking up.”
This year the number one item of choice to give to loved ones are cards, with flowers following in second, gift cards or gift certificates in third, and jewelry the last item of choice, according to an International Communications Research survey.
About 35 percent of the 1,000 survey takers plan to buy flowers this Valentine’s Day, according to an ICR survey. Out of the 35 percent of the flower buyers, 49 percent of those people will be men and 21 percent will be women.
With cards coming in as the number one gift for this year’s day of love, flower shops are hoping their variety of arrangements will make them an appealing choice.
 “We are hoping to beat the economy with our mixed arrangements,” said Monique Hampton, owner of the Turlock Flower Shop. “We are expecting it to be a little slower this year though. People typically send flowers to someone’s work but Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year.”
Not only do flower shops have to worry about the holiday falling on a weekend, but they have to worry about street vendors as their competitors.
Street vendors must have a license from the State Department of Food and Agriculture to conduct business with farm products and flowers, but some illegal vendors are hard to detect.
To find the illegal vendors, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance in 2006 to have an authorized employee or officer to enforce the requirements with street vendors. If vendors are caught without a license, the authorized employee or officer may confiscate all products, leaving the vendor with the receipt for the confiscated property.   
Most local flower shops are not happy about street vendors and feel uneasy about the potential illegal competition.
“We pay taxes and we pay rent,” Yadegarian said. “They don’t.”  
Hampton feels some disadvantages with street vendors because “you never know if they are legit or not.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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