Saturday, May 21, 2022 |
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Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island
Neill Sams checks on some of the new phalaenopsis varieties that arrived for this year’s Mother’s Day, Wednesday during the process of readying Orchid Alley for opening on May 1.
Fely Sams shows off a pre-made display for Mother’s Day, Wednesday while preparing Orchid Alley for opening on May 1.
Fely Sams fields a Mother’s Day order, Wednesday while Neill Sams readies a shipment of orchids for display at Orchid Alley that will be fully operational on May 1 in Kapa‘a.
KAPA‘A — Fely Sams of Orchid Alley in Kapa‘a said she’ll be down at the shop every day starting Wednesday.
Her appearance to ready the walk-in orchid shop for reopening on May 1 was interrupted by phone calls inquiring about Mother’s Day.
The reopening coincides with Mayor Derek Kawakami’s announcement on Tuesday that florists will be able to begin operations on May 1, provided “they are able to conduct operations in a way that is safe for employees and customers.”
“Once again, florists will be able to open for business on May 1,” Kawakami said in his daily video update, Tuesday. “And remember, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 10…hint, hint for all the dads out there.”
Neill Sams of Orchid Alley said they have been getting a head start on the official announcement by taking orders and processing orders for mailings from their home.
“We’re ready,” Neill said. “The shop is still closed until May 1, but we’ve taken care of orders at home, and the floral deliveries have been coming to the house as well. Now, we have to move the plants down to the shop, but we’re ready to go.”
Fely said Orchid Alley is currently accepting orders for mailing fresh, blooming orchid plants to reach recipients in time for Mother’s Day. Ordering can be done by calling (808) 822-0486, or through the shop’s website at www.OrchidAlleyKauai.com.
“I check the phone messages daily,” Fely said. “Oh, I forgot. I’ll be here from now — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — to get the store ready for opening on May 1. The hours will change come May 1 when we can officially open. The final days for mailing in order for plants to reach in time for Mother’s Day is Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (for the West Coast).”
With mailings taken care of, Orchid Alley prepares for the local market, including deliveries.
“Delivery must be done early, and through the website,” Neill said. “We’ve got the island covered — one day for the North Shore, one day for the South Shore, and one day for the Westside where we already have orders booked.”
Neill is also concerned about shoppers when the doors open on May 1.
“Everything is pre-made,” Fely said. “We’re discouraging people from socializing or loitering too long. We are also recognizing social distancing, including having a face mask on in order to enter the shop area. In and out is the rule.”
Neill said he is awaiting clarification on what is allowed, or not allowed when the store opens.
“At the minimum, we can do curbside pick up,” Neill said. “We need to know what we need to expect because the explosion is about to happen.”
Mother’s Day is the single largest revenue-generating event for Orchid Alley, and other florists around the country.
Christine Boldt, the executive vice president of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida, predicted in an article appearing in TMZ News, that the flower business will do 70 percent of its normal volume this year.
Other floral industry officials expect volume to be even higher due to increased delivery orders because many families are unable to celebrate in person due to stay-at-home orders.
“I’ve been losing money every day we’ve been closed because of COVID-19,” Neill said. “When Gov. David Ige reversed his earlier decision to allow Mother’s Day, I was livid. I couldn’t sleep. I was emailing everyone I knew. Not being able to have Mother’s Day would drive me to the brink of bankruptcy.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.
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