‘This is our biggest weekend of the year:’ Orlando florist hurt by pandemic hopes business blooms for Valentine’s Day

Owner of Bay Hill Florist says local customers are keeping business going

ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida flower shops are hard at work with Valentine’s Day just days away.

Bay Hill Florist owner Carol Newton is hoping the holiday will boost her bottom line.

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“Love is in the air all around and our fantastic local customers are supporting the business and they are amazing,” Newton said.

Newton said she and her staff are busy taking orders and making flower arrangements ahead of the holiday.

“This is our biggest weekend of the year. We’re excited, we’re busy and the flowers are looking beautiful,” she said.

Newton said business is blossoming with holiday sales after her store took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the summer last year we lost our hotel trade, restaurant trade, Disney, the theme parks,” Newton said. “All of that business is gone and we still have lost a lot of it.”

News 6 stopped by her shop last May during the first week she reopened after the statewide stay-at-home order was enforced.

Since then, Newton said business has been steady but it has changed. She said they are now serving more local customers and doing more deliveries.

“It’s been a different kind of trade this. Instead of the retail, we’re doing more local homes where people aren’t traveling anymore and they’re having flowers for their home, which is just beautiful,” she said.

Blaine Sweatt stopped by the shop to order an arrangement. He said it was one of many he bought in recent months.

“These are the kinds of businesses that really make the country work. These are the folks who come here, they’re every day and I’m delighted to have them in the neighborhood,” Sweatt said.

As the fight to end the pandemic continues, Newton said she is hopeful for a rosy future.

“Everything is ticking over and we hope this year it will improve even more,” she said.

Newton said customers can place orders online, over the phone by calling 407-226-7122, or in person at the store located at 7784 W. Sand Lake Road in Orlando.

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