Cedar Rapids Florists Avoid Southern Weather Delays

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - On Valentine's Day, the most feverish of flower days, Jon Gray waited until the last minute to pick up a rose for his wife. He admits it was procrastination.

"Oh yeah, typical guy. Absolutely," said Gray.

His gesture of love, no doubt, meant a lot to his lady, but it may have meant more to local florists, who call V-Day their Black Friday.

"We will do over 1,000 deliveries, and that doesn't count the customers coming into our stores," said Al Pierson, the owner of Pierson's Flower Shop.

But, Mother Nature doesn't seem to be feeling the love this year. Weather in southern states grounded many flights and kept fresh stock from arriving at some florists.

"Heard a lot of different things. There's been-- with all the cold and the ice and the terrible weather-- there's been some delays on flowers," said Cindy Jensen, the Edgewood Hy-Vee Floral Manager.

The Cedar Rapids florists KCRG talked to said they were lucky to avoid that weather related trouble. Jensen said her Hy-Vee benefited from good timing.

"A lot of flowers come in through Miami and then they are trucked from there to hear. I think that we were just lucky enough to get them ahead of the storm," said Jensen.

At Pierson's Flower Shop, owners said they took extra precautions with products for this year's V-Day, after receiving roughed up shipments from distributors around Christmas.

"We had several shipments that were frozen in transit," said Pierson. "We actually drove to Chicago five or six times here in the last two weeks just to make sure we had the product in hand."
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