LIHUE — Chris Hyde walked from Flowers Forever with a box full of assorted flowers: lilies, roses and carnations.
With two balloons wrapped around his fingers and both arms hugging the arrangement, the Kapahi resident had difficulty unlocking his car.
Hyde said he needs to show his girlfriend, Jessica Hughes, he loves her.
“Valentine’s Day is just one of the days you celebrate the whole relationship of loving each other,” he said. “She’s shown a lot to me; I’ve shown a lot to her.”
Hyde is among the hundreds of people expressing their love on Valentine’s Day today in the form of floral arrangements, said Alan Tada, owner of Flowers Forever in Lihue.
“Right now, we will have enough business that we can handle. I’m very sorry, but the late guys (today) will have to wait to the evening time for anything,” he said. “You can only do so much that you promised and you’d hate to promise anything you can’t deliver. We tone it down. We make sure all our first orders are taken care of.”
On a normal day, Tada said the shop gets about 30 to 40 orders. On the day before Valentine’s Day and the day of, however, the flower shop gets about 600 to 700.
“For deliveries, that amounts to 200 to 300 islandwide. We have five trucks going out, but even at that, it’s hard to find everybody,” he said. “You go out there. People are not home. You don’t want to leave to roses outside, so there’s a lot of things we need to do in between the lines to deliveries to get done.”
Florist Val Takiguchi said today is a challenging yet beautiful experience.
“We’re spreading the love,” Takiguchi said. “Were designing and getting all the thousands of orders for our faithful customers and our new customers.”
Donna Yadao, a florist for nearly 30 years, has lost count of the orders.
“You see everybody happy. They’re happy and you’re happy,” she said. “You’re content, even though you’re tired.”
To prepare for Valentine’s Day orders, Tada said his shop takes five days to get ready.
“For business side, you look forward for days like this,” he said. “We have chocolates, stuffed animals, orchids, tropicals for our tourist guests. We’re the only shop in the state that delivers champagne and wine.”
That amounts to big business for local retailers.
According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture, the preliminary value of Hawaii’s floriculture and nursery products is estimated at $67.4 million. That’s down from the almost $68 million generated in 2014.
The 2015 mark represents a 19-year low for the state. The previously low stood under $67 million in 1997. In 2007, sales peaked at $109 million.
Roses, lilies, and spray roses are the top of the sellers for Valentine’s Day, Tada said.
Some of the popular Valentine’s Day arrangements at Flowers Forever include the Valentine Special, illusion vase with lilies, roses and carnations for $64.95; Cube Vase Arrangement, a mix of red, white and pink flowers for $68.75; and the Dozen Long Stem Red Roses Arrangement, a dozen red roses, babies breath and fillers for $93.75.
“Valentine’s Day is everything in life for the man,” he said. “It will be a hard time for him to look at his wife the next day after she goes to work and her friends get the flowers and she doesn’t get it.”
Tada makes sure to give his wife flowers daily, a tip he shares with everyone.
For Hyde, he has his dinner reservations booked, a bottle of wine in the chill and a walk on the beach planned.
“It’s a day where we just show appreciation for each other, but we do show appreciation to each other every chance we get,” he said.