Originally published Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 06:02a.m.

This story was corrected on Feb. 12. An explanation follows.

“What’s not to like?”

For flower deliveryman David Smith, it’s not a rhetorical question. He has a ready list of reasons why he loves what he’s doing.

“I’m out in the open air in the best weather in the U.S., making people happy,” Smith said recently as he loaded a half-dozen cherry red-and-white bouquets into Prescott Valley Florist’s delivery van.

Almost without exception, Smith said, customers are happy to see him coming.

Sure, he encounters the occasional miffed significant other who appears ready to throw the bouquet back in his face. And then, there are the somber funeral arrangements.

But for the most part, a flower delivery is a happy event — especially on Valentine’s Day.

On a recent morning leading up to the big sweetheart-holiday rush, Smith was out to deliver complimentary bouquets to several of the shop’s regular customers.

Moving from an automotive shop to a rehabilitation care center to a local Mexican restaurant, Smith was greeted by smiles from the receptionists and hosts he encountered.

The arrangements — in the traditional Valentine colors, and festooned with heart bows — set the tone, as Smith explained that the bouquets were intended as thank-yous to the regular customers.

Second only to Mother’s Day for flower deliveries, Valentine’s Day is big business for florists, and the Prescott Valley shop was reminding people that they are available to offer local, one-on-one service.

“We’re excited about it; we’re gearing up,” manager Donna Chamblee said, noting that the shop moved to its new location at 6520 E. Second Street this past year from its previous spot on Robert Road.

By all accounts, the gearing-up process is intense. “We’re expecting several hundred deliveries within a three-day window,” Chamblee said.

Come Monday and Tuesday, the shop’s back cooler will be a kaleidoscope of color, stuffed with roses, carnations, gladiolas, daisies, and orchids.

“Roses are always going to be the go-to for Valentine’s Day,” Chamblee said. She pointed out that the classic bloom comes in a variety of colors — lavenders, reds, yellows, whites, and two shades of pink.

“But people also like something that hasn’t been done before,” Chamblee said. For instance, tropical arrangements, with vibrant yellows and oranges, are also popular.

Smith, who is retired from a career in hotel management, has worked in flower delivery for about five years, since moving to Prescott Valley from California.

While he enjoys all of the holidays, Smith said, “Valentine’s Day is my favorite.”

He finds all of the Valentine’s deliveries to the workplace to be especially fun, with the chance to embarrass the recipients a bit at their jobs.

Prescott Valley Floral is a sister business to the long-time Allan’s Flowers (www.allansflowers.com) at 1095 E. Gurley St. in Prescott. Both offer a range of delivery and pick-up options.

Another local option is Prescott Flower Shop at 721 Miller Valley Road, where owner Ann Saltz said preparations are also underway for a busy Valentine’s week.

The shop has brought on extra designers and delivery people to deal with the rush, she said.

photo

JoAnn Williams, master flower designer with Prescott Valley Florist, works on an arrangement at the shop, 6520 E. Second St. in Prescott Valley. Williams and other staffers are gearing up for the busy Valentine’s Day rush expected next week. (Cindy Barks/Courier)

Saltz and other local florists agree that while online ordering is available, it is usually best to call or stop by the local shop to get one-on-one service.

“I always like it when people call the shop, because we can discuss (the order) with them,” Saltz said.

Prescott Flower Shop’s website (www.prescottflowershopaz.com) notes that ordering “designer’s choice” will result in a one-of-a-kind arrangement with the shop’s freshest flowers. For orders based on the pictured arrangements, the shop will try to match to the photo, but sometimes must use substitutions.

For local customers who wait until the last minute for their flower purchases, Saltz said, “We will try to have a lot of arrangements on hand in the store.”

Most local supermarkets and discount stores also carry a range of flower choices for last-minute purchases.

The original version of this story included an incorrect address for Prescott Valley Florist. Correct address is 6520 E. Second Street.