Florists In Michiana Struggle To Sell Flowers During Busy Season Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Mar 24, 2020

A Single Rose Florist in South Bend struggles to sell flowers.
Credit Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

Many weddings, funerals, and birthday celebrations have been postponed or cancelled entirely during the coronavirus pandemic. Some florists in Michiana are struggling to sell flowers with no events, even though Spring is one of their busiest seasons.

Greg Powell has owned Powell the Florist in Mishawaka since the mid-80’s. The shop has been struggling to make sales since it relies on business from weddings, funerals, and celebrations -- most of which have been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Powell said they’ll most likely have to close in the next few days, except for emergency flower orders.

“I know flowers don’t seem like something that would be an emergency but if there’s a service and the family wants to have flowers, we want to be able to help them.”

Powell said he’s been trying to sell flowers any way possible, with discounts and bundles. But they still have a lot leftover, and the flowers won’t last until business can pick up again.

“Well it’s going to get to the point where, and I hate to do this, but at the end of their lifetime we’ll have to toss them because there’s nothing else we can do.”

He also said people don't have money to buy flowers for any occasions like Easter or Mother's Day since many people are out of work.

Rosemary Ponto owns A Single Rose Florist in South Bend. She said she hopes for one order a day, but sometimes that doesn’t even happen.

“I have flowers that I ordered a long time ago because most of us order a month ahead of time, so I do have flowers that came in today. Those are going to be good for a week to ten days because they’re fresh, but after that I don’t know what will happen.”

Both Ponto and Powell are trying to be fair with customers who have already paid for flowers but needed to cancel. Powell said he credited the account of one customer to use in the future.

“In this particular case, he did pick up a bouquet and a few flower things so he could still have a private wedding.”

Like many other small business owners, Ponto and Powell are unsure how they’ll make it through the next few weeks and possibly months.