By Sue Moore
Friday is the worst day of the week for Valentine’s Day to fall on for florists, claims Jim Stamper, owner of Heirloom Roses flower shop in Schoolcraft. This fact is upheld by surveys from FTD Florists that say Thursday is the best day for it to fall upon.
On Friday it is typical for a couple to decide on dinner and perhaps a show as their gift to each other. On other weekdays, having a beautiful flower arrangement arrive at the office for the wow factor, is the best time for florists. For Stamper, who delivers all over the southern part of Kalamazoo County and into the Three Rivers area too, plotting the delivery times is an absolute must.
“We have 4-5 guys out all day to make sure the flowers arrive before 4 p.m. to achieve that greatest excitement. We try to make the bouquets the day before to accommodate the many deliveries we have on February 14, with the freshest of flowers available. We buy our roses from a grower in Wayland, rather than South America. My wife even takes them home with her to test how long they will last. This way we know that those coming from far away have a much shorter shelf life,” he says.
A nice mixed arrangement with a couple of roses is a good buy, the Master Florist says. He is one of only five in the state of Michigan. “I look at flowers and see the arrangement in my head. It all comes out beautifully.” To keep the bouquet fresh Stamper recommends taking it out of water every other day, wash the vase and cut the stems. Keep them in the coolest place in the house and it’s possible to get ten days plus out of his flower arrangements he advises.
Stamper met the love of his life while living in New Jersey. In order to marry Sue, he needed to get a job. He stopped in the first place he saw to apply and it was a flower shop. They hired him and he found he was a natural at it. They moved to Michigan shortly after that and he landed a job at VanBochove’s in Kalamazoo. When that shop closed, they purchased the store in Schoolcraft, six and a half years ago and moved up above the shop. Friends implied he was crazy for opening in the teeth of the recession but the community has supported him and he has given back as president of the local Lions Club.
The store is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Grand Street, just north of the railroad tracks.