Finding a florist in the Buffalo area with flowers for Mother's Day won’t be easy this year. Many shops are closed and the ones that are open have limited options for customers.
Restrictions on businesses during the pandemic have knocked a few petals off the local floral industry.
“I had 25 people on my staff forever and I'm down to one, me, and one driver. It's insane,” said Maureen Bartley, the owner of Maureen’s Wholesale Flower Market on Ellicott Street in Buffalo. Bartley says she has been so busy that Friday and Saturday she is only offering curbside pickup.
“There'll be tables out front with flower arrangements and with dozen roses in buckets and there'll be plants that they can purchase,” Bartley said.
In Amherst, Cathy McGovern, owner of Trillium’s Courtyard Florist on Kensington Avenue, said she had to go from about a dozen employees to just one.
“So we've had to stop taking orders for Mother's Day, which is very unfortunate. We have a lot of good customers who I'm disappointing and I feel very bad about that. Our website is now set to not accept any orders other than a couple of plants that we still have left to sell,” she said.
McGovern said business has been a challenge and this weekend is usually her biggest holiday.
“We do the most business for Mother's Day. I don't remember the percentage, but it really is a huge amount of business for us, so we are losing a lot of business because of it,” McGovern said.
Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses on South Forest Road in Williamsville is also being “hard hit,” according to company president Frank Mischler.
“We’re up and running with a limited staff for Mother’s Day and trying to make as many mothers in Western New York happy as we can,” Mischler said.
Mischler’s stopped taking orders for delivery, but he says customers can still phone ahead for pick up.
“We've also limited the selections on our website so that people can't just choose one of hundreds of arrangements. They can choose one of five or six,” Mischler said.
Another unusual change, he says, for the first time in over 4o years in the family business, Mischler’s will be closed Mother’s Day.