Playing a ‘survival game,’ florists scramble to fill orders for a very different Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day ‘blessing’ and ‘survival game’ for Hawaii florists

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The rush to buy flowers for Mother’s Day looks different this year because of the pandemic.

And while business is down significantly florists, they’re just relieved to be open for a busy time of year.

Beretania Florist is doing deliveries from phone and online orders.

At Paiko in Kakaako, workers whipped up floral arrangements for pickup. They’re planning to reopen next week.

And in Chinatown, some flower shops enforced capacity limits.

“We are doing two customers at a time and we are taking telephone orders, they can drive through and pick it up,” said Stacy Jaclua, of Shirley’s Flowers.

Florists raced to stock their shelves for the Mother’s Day demand. Some had lots of lei while others did not — and couldn’t fill the shelves.

"It's just so last minute," said one shop owner.

Watanabe Floral says the pandemic has cut off the supply of flowers to Hawaii by more than half.

With no traditional graduation ceremonies and events coming up, the business is just happy to be among the businesses allowed to reopen for Mother’s Day, especially for the small mom-and-pop florists.

“Right now, it’s been a real blessing for them and hopefully it buys them time. It’s a survival game. Right now it’s how long you can survive until this goes away,” said Monty Pereira, general manager of Watanabe Floral.

"I think it's becoming a little more understood the impact flowers can have on making people happy," he added.

Watanabe divided its showroom in half so floral designers could work 10 feet from each other while outside customers waiting to go in were socially distancing.

For the Furukawa family, it was a family trip to buy arm loads of bouquets for the moms.

“I think it’s good. We wanted to come here early because we didn’t want to get stuck in the rush that will happen this weekend,” said Gerald Furukawa.

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