While inflation and supply chain issues have caused price hikes, delays and shortages nationally, those who run flower shops in central Maine say they have been able to meet demand at their busiest holiday of the year — Valentine’s Day.

That is due to planning.

Around the region, florists said they worked and planned for months so they would be able to fill orders ahead of — and on — Valentine’s Day. And while some shops were forced to increase prices on certain flowers, many customers placed larger orders than in previous years.

The weekend at many flower shops was all hands on deck as employees filled orders for bouquets and arrangements.

While national reports spotlighted supply chain issues causing many florists to worry about filling orders, those who sell flowers across central Maine said there was no shortage of merchandise, including buckets of roses, Gerbera daisies, lilies, tulips and hydrangeas. Shelves in coolers were packed with orders ready to head out the door Monday.

Jennifer Hinkley owned The Flower Spot at 39 Main St. in Richmond for more than four decades, before selling it to Anne Clark in November. Hinkley, who now works for Clark, said she began ordering Valentine’s Day stock in January.


“She has really been on top of ordering flowers,” Clark said, “and we have not had a problem getting them. I think the prices have gone up a little bit.”

Jaclyn Jackowsky, manager at Augusta Florist at 118 Mount Vernon Ave., said she was not able to get certain vases and containers for Valentine’s Day, but that was not a critical issue.

“We don’t blame everything on COVID here,” she said, adding two of her employees were out with the coronavirus.

Matt DuBois, co-owner of The Bankery & Skowhegan Fleuriste at 87 Water St. in Skowhegan, said the shop’s orders were based on 2019 — pre-pandemic — sales. And while there have been no issues receiving flowers, products and merchandise, DuBois said finishing last-minute orders can be challenging.

He said his business has succeeded with the help of artisans and vendors who supply products from Maine and elsewhere in New England. They have included vendors from Freeport, Rockland and Vermont.

“We’ve got a lot of new Maine and Skowhegan-specific vendors. It’s always been a focus of ours,” DuBois said. “I’m not going to pay extra surcharges. Rather, let’s fill our shop with more artisan-made things from local people.


“I’m a big believer of pivoting when you are faced with a challenge. So, rather than let the supply chain issues affect us too badly, we decided to look for vendors who are more local.”

Florists credit the COVID-19 pandemic for increases in certain businesses. Some said Valentine’s Day in 2021 was the best holiday they have had.

The owner of The Robin’s Nest at 173 Main St. in Waterville said while some prices have increased, customers have been spending as much or more on Valentine’s Day orders.

Jennifer Hinkley, left, and Anne Clark, the current owner of The Flower Spot in Richmond, pause for a photograph Saturday as they work to meet the Valentine’s Day demand for flowers. They say Valentine’s Day is the busiest holiday of the year for florists. Jessica Lowell/Kennebec Journal

“Prices are higher this year,” Robin Samalus-Getchell said. “My customers, however, are spending a lot more money, as well. Interestingly enough, when we make a suggestion for a price, our customers want to spend more than that. It’s been a year of a lot of big orders. People are spending and buying a lot of flowers.”

Aurilla Holt at Berry & Berry Floral at 121 Water St. in Hallowell said because the pandemic has limited people’s ability to travel to see family and friends, they seem to be sending flowers instead.

DuBois, meantime, attributed his strong sales to customers seeking to support and be generous with local businesses, and people “wanting to bring home a bigger bouquet or just express their love in a larger way.”

“We’re definitely seeing larger budgets and larger arrangements going out the door,” DuBois said. “I think it has positioned people to look a little more inward toward self-care and family. We’re seeing that in the retail world, where people are buying more for their loved ones and even themselves.”

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Jessica Lowell contributed to this report.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.