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It’s almost Mother’s Day, and you haven’t ordered flowers yet. What do you do?

Albert’s Florist in San Luis Obispo will send out several hundred bouquets this Mother’s Day weekend, owner Barkev Abadjian said Friday.
Albert’s Florist in San Luis Obispo will send out several hundred bouquets this Mother’s Day weekend, owner Barkev Abadjian said Friday. kleslie@thetribunenews.com

The Friday before Mother’s Day is comparable to Black Friday for florists.

At flower shops throughout the county, local florists spent Friday (and expect to spend Saturday) scrambling to fill the rush of last-minute flower delivery orders for moms across the Central Coast.

In some cases, that rush means telling potential customers that orders just can’t be filled — whether because of dwindling inventory or not enough manpower — but generally, local florists say they will do everything in their ability to help you get a dazzling display on mom’s doorstep by Sunday morning.

At Grand Bouquet Florist in Arroyo Grande, the pressure was doubled this year because the Arroyo Grande High School prom is also scheduled for this weekend, meaning owner Tina Mclane was “up to her ears” in flower orders Friday afternoon.

“People are panicking, and they are kind of making us panic,” she joked. “This is my 30-some-odd year of doing this, but I just can’t believe it.”

As of Friday afternoon, Mclane said she had scheduled more than 200 deliveries for Saturday, though she expects that number to go up since she will continue to take new orders throughout the weekend until she runs out of inventory.

That might mean taking whatever flowers she has in stock, rather than a particular type, she said.

“It’s sort of dealer’s choice right now,” she said. “We’re telling people what we have and making what arrangements we can, instead of taking requests.”

Though the number of Mother’s Day-related sales this year has been comparable to recent years, Mclane did note that people seem to be spending more on their orders this year than in the past.

“Where we would have a $30 order, now there’s a $50; a $50, there’s a $75,” she said. “I don’t know what that says about the economy, but I do know people still like to have flowers delivered from the florist to their mom’s on Mother’s Day. They really still enjoy doing that.”

In all, Mclane said Mother’s Day sales account for about 25 percent of her business throughout the year, making it their biggest holiday, even over Valentine’s Day.

At Albert’s Florist in San Luis Obispo on Friday afternoon, the phone continuously rang with new orders as half a dozen workers bustled around the shop’s backroom, arranging flowers, labeling bouquets and moving inventory between the fridge and the design table, all the while skirting the clipped stems and leaves strewn haphazardly across the ground.

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Rose Marie arranges flowers at Albert’s Florist in San Luis Obispo during the Mother’s Day rush. Kaytlyn Leslie kleslie@thetribunenews.com

“It is very, very busy,” owner Barkev Abadjian said. “Unfortunately, some of the things we ran out, and we can’t get enough replenishment so we can fill those orders. But we are trying to help our customers to say thank you to their mom as much as possible. And we are doing every effort. As you see around us, everyone is doing their best so we can serve our mothers in the best possible way.”

Abadjian, who has owned the floral shop since 1981, said he anticipates delivering several hundred bouquets throughout the county this weekend.

“It is really comparable with other years,” he said. “We are doing really good, and we really appreciate our local customers that know where to order. They go to their local shops, local florists. ... We want to serve our customers in the best possible way.”

Abadjian advised anyone in need of a last-minute gift to consider sending blooming plants, like orchids or basket plants, since those don’t require assembly like other floral arrangements and are already in stock in the shop.

The biggest advice for last-minute shoppers both Abadjian and Mclane offered on Friday was simple, but it probably won’t help you this year: Don’t wait until the last minute.

“Plan early, order early and ask to deliver early, too, so your mother can enjoy them all week long,” Abadjian said.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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