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There’s no cutting corners with these square holiday wreaths

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Teddy Roosevelt had his Square Deal. Huey Lewis said it was hip to be square.

We have the square holiday wreath, and it’s pretty hip.

Of course, you’ll still find more round wreaths, but we’re stocking a small number of square wreaths in each of our stores.

No matter the shape of your evergreen wreath, here’s a great tip for keeping them in great shape throughout the holiday season: hairspray. Click here for details.

 

You’re invited to our holiday open house, Nov. 29-30

There’s no need to stop at Black Friday. What are you doing the rest of the weekend?

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Join us for our annual holiday open house. All of our stores will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

We’ll be offering:

• 30 percent off Christmas silk arrangements
• Door prizes
• Free balloons for children both days
• Refreshments on Sunday

And through Dec. 5, all of our stores are collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. For details, click here.

Of course, we’ll have lots of beautiful flowers, plants and giftware available, too, as we usher in the holiday season.

We hope to see you there.

Introducing your rewards program: Petal Perks

Research shows the emotional and behavioral benefits associated with flowers and plants. Having them around your home or office is a great way to keep your spirits bright as daylight dwindles.

Petal Perks card

You’ll get another lift from our new customer rewards program: Petal Perks.

We included Petal Perks cards in our fall catalog. If you didn’t receive one, you can pick one up at any of our stores.

With Petal Perks, customers earn one point for each penny they spend and 300 points for each order they place: every 15,000 points earns a $5 discount on a future purchase.

Petal Perks applies to all purchases, whether made in store, online or on the phone. What’s more, points don’t expire as long as you make at least two purchases annually.

Here you’ll find complete details about Petal Perks.

So with winter fast approaching, be sure to keep plenty of flowers and plants around. They’ll help you perk up, and you can get the most out of Petal Perks.

Royer’s Kids Club celebrates start of new school year with free event Aug. 23

Royer's Flowers Kids Club

We’re celebrating the start of a new school year with a free Royer’s Kids Club event Aug. 23 in each of our stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to create a daisy arrangement adorned with a “back-to-school” stick-in. Participants also will receive a free balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store: click here for locations and contact information.

Royer’s Columbia store joins parade to kick off Mountville’s bicentennial celebration

Royer's Columbia store and classic delivery van in Mountville bicentennial parade.

Happy 200th Birthday to Mountville, Lancaster County!

The borough kicked off its weeklong bicentennial celebration with a parade on Aug. 2.

Our Columbia store, which serves Mountville, entered Royer’s classic 1969 Ford Econoline delivery van in the procession. Store manager Patti Barclay and her team walked beside the van and handed out 400 carnations to spectators.

With addition of PinnacleHealth, Royer’s serving 11 area hospital gift shops

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In advance of opening West Shore Hospital in May, PinnacleHealth System sought a new floral vendor that could keep up with the growing volume of orders from its three hospital boutique gift shops.

Royer’s Camp Hill store won a multi-year contract to service the new hospital as well as the established Harrisburg Hospital and Community General Osteopathic Hospital. The partnership began April 1.

“It’s just been extremely good the whole time,” said Joan Line, manager for PinnacleHealth Auxiliary.

She works closely with the Camp Hill store’s Holly Newpower, manager, and Aimee Arrowood, assistant manager. Royer’s delivers flowers at various price points to the hospitals every week, but Line also has been impressed with how requests have been accommodated on weekends.

“If a family comes in and wants a special arrangement,” she said, “all we have to do is call Holly and Amy and they will bring it in.”

PinnacleHealth’s gift shops are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

What’s more, PinnacleHealth Auxiliary’s website includes an online gift shop, and orders placed there are filled by Royer’s. Or if customers buy flowers on Royer’s website that are destined for a PinnacleHealth hospital, Royer’s gives a small percentage of each sale back to PinnacleHealth Auxiliary.

The nonprofit PinnacleHealth Auxiliary manages the three gift shops. All of the proceeds from the gift shops come back to the hospitals to support various programs and services.

Holly, Royer’s manager in Camp Hill, called the PinnacleHealth Auxiliary partnership “a huge deal” for her store.

“More than just selling flowers,” she said, “it’s benefitting the community, too.”

Added PinnacleHealth’s Line: “It’s just a good match.”

Meanwhile, six other Royer’s stores service eight other area hospital gift shops:

East York: Apple Hill Surgical Center
Ephrata: WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center
Lancaster West: Lancaster General Hospital, Women & Babies Hospital
Lebanon: Good Samaritan Hospital
Reading: Reading Hospital
West York: WellSpan York Hospital

 

Individually wrapped Waggoner Chocolates available in five stores

Liquid Caramel Mk

A trip to Royer’s just got a little sweeter.

We’ve added delicious Waggoner Chocolates to the offerings at our Camp Hill, Carlisle, Lancaster North, Lancaster West and Lebanon locations.

There are nine different individually wrapped chocolate candies from which to choose: large pretzels, pecan caramel dainties, caramels with sea salt, coconut clusters, and marshmallow are $1 each; peanut butter buckeyes, liquid caramels, mint meltaways, and pretzel clusters are 50 cents apiece.

You can mix and match for $18.99 per pound.

Waggoner Chocolates has a rich family history that’s not lost on a fourth-generation company such as Royer’s.

Harry Alfred London, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, quit school in the fourth grade to help support his family by working in a steel mill. In his spare time, he continued a family tradition of making handcrafted chocolates, using London-family recipes that had been handed down for generations.

In 1922, at age 22, Harry quit the mill to start a chocolate business in the basement of his home in Canton, Ohio. By 1954, Harry and his wife built London’s Candies’ first factory at 1281 S. Main St., North Canton.

Fast forward to 2003, when London’s Candies was sold. It was then that Harry’s grandson, Joe Waggoner, started Waggoner Chocolates, which operates from the original family factory.

Today, Waggoner produces more than 100 varieties of chocolates and seasonal confections, selling to customers in the United States, Canada, Europe and China.

And now Waggoner Chocolates are available at Royer’s.

The same freshness that you associate with our flowers you can expect from Waggoner. Our chocolate is made to order, and then we pick it up ourselves to ensure that it is as fresh as can be for our stores.

We hope you’ll try some and let us know what you think about it.

 

 

Royer’s tops ‘Best of Lebanon Valley’ for fourth year in a row

Best of the Lebanon ValleyFor the fourth time in as many years as the Lebanon Daily News has recognized the “Best of the Lebanon Valley,” the newspaper’s readers have voted Royer’s their favorite florist.

Royer’s has always called Lebanon home: Our family-owned business started there in 1937 and operates its flagship store at 810 S. 12th St., Lebanon, and 901 E. Main St., Palmyra.

Overall, Royer’s has 17 stores in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

“Best of the Lebanon Valley” comprised 114 categories and two rounds of reader participation. Results were announced on June 18.

Don’t let ‘DOGs’ take a bite out of your Mother’s Day order

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Our Google search for “flowers hershey, pa” returned several sponsored links from what appear to be local florists.

On one website, there’s this message: “Hershey, Pennsylvania Flower Delivery by our local florist to Hershey TODAY!”

The owner of that website is in Michigan.

On the home page of another of the websites is this: “Best Hershey, PA Same Day Flower Delivery!” The page lists Hershey-area hotels, schools, funeral homes. It even includes a Hershey weather forecast.

The company behind that website is out of New Jersey.

‘Deceptive order gatherer’

Each of the companies is what is known in the floral industry as an “order gatherer,” or sometimes derided as a “deceptive order gatherer,” or DOG, as described in a recent story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

They take orders and then broker them to local florists or even ship the flowers (unarranged, of course) via UPS or FedEx. These DOGs, which operate year-round, are hunting for your Mother’s Day order. And if they get it, they’ll likely take a bite out of your wallet that will exceed what you would have paid by working with your local florist to place the order.

The order gatherer will entice you with deals that look great but, upon closer inspection, probably aren’t.

In almost all cases, the order gatherers present their flowers at discounted prices. A tulip bouquet valued at $81.99 is shown as marked down to $44.99, for instance. They also tend to upsell, so that when you select a standard or regular arrangement it defaults to a “deluxe” (read: more expensive) version.

Costly commissions and fees

On one order gather’s website, the home page featured a “best seller” arrangement of lilies, roses and alstroemeria valued at $34.99 but discounted to $27.99. When we clicked on it, our selection instead chose the deluxe version: valued at $44.99 but with a “Google discount” of $9 that put the total at $35.99.

At checkout, there was a $2.99 charge for same-day delivery – and a service/handling fee of $14.99. Our total was $53.97 even with the so-called Google discount.

Order gatherers typically deduct a 20 percent commission and other fees from orders, according to the Inquirer article. So if a flower order is valued at $44.99, that leaves less than $36 for the local florist, who then must deduct his delivery fee. Pretty soon, that $44.99 worth of flowers is maybe only a $28 value or less to the customer.

“It’s a no-win situation,” the Inquirer noted of this practice. The florist “can either fill the full order and lose money, or substitute a cheaper arrangement and risk consumer outrage.”

Let your local florist help

Either way, it might not be a risk worth taking when it comes to the impression you wish to make on the recipient. If you have a strong and trusting relationship with your local florist, then why not let them help you with an out-of-town flower delivery?

Reputable florists will make sure you get the value and quality that you deserve on your long-distance orders. After all, they want to be treated fairly when they are on the receiving end of orders.

The deceptive order gatherers, on the other hand, extract high service and delivery fees – only to hand off the order to someone else.

Another one of the order gatherers we examined offered same-day delivery of a gerbera arrangement valued at $49.99 but discounted to $29.99. Then another offer appeared, lowering the price to $9.99. But a service charge of $19.99 and a handling charge of $10.50 brought the total to $40.48.

The order gatherer won’t earn those fees, and you won’t get what you paid for.

When it comes to flowers, these DOGs aren’t man’s best friend.

 

 

In search of the best rose

“Where will I wander and wonder?
Nobody knows
But wherever I`m going I`ll go
In search of a Rose”

–From the song “In Search of a Rose” by The Waterboys

Tom Royer regularly visits South American farms to check on the flowers that are grown specifically for Royer's Flowers.
Tom Royer regularly visits South American farms to check on the flowers
that are grown specifically for Royer’s Flowers.

 

Just after Labor Day, Tom Royer is going in search of a certain type of rose.

“We don’t want a rose,” said Tom, Royer’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We want a rose. We want the best rose and that’s what we need to do to be competitive in our business, is find the best of the best.

“We pride ourselves in doing that. Our flowers last longer, they’re bigger. We constantly have to be looking at all the things that are available to us to make what we do in the flower business better than what anybody else does.”

Tom, who visits flower farms in South America multiple times each year, will be returning to Quito, Ecuador, to meet with three or four rose growers (and a lily grower).

In some ways, this is nothing new. Tom is always in pursuit of better-looking, longer-lasting flowers.

“I’m constantly looking at farms,” Tom said. “It’s just now that the focus has been more on Ecuadoran roses.”

Specifically, he is looking for roses that have bigger head sizes, consistently. It costs more to ship fresh-cut roses from Quito than from Bogota, Colombia, the single-biggest source of Royer’s roses.

“So all things being equal, why would you buy from Quito?” Tom said.

“Well, Ecuadoran roses have always had a little bigger head size, and we’re focusing more and more on that.”

While its farms are capable of growing roses comparable to what is found in Quito, Bogota experiences more rain and clouds that can be detrimental to head size.

One of the growers that Royer’s buys from in Colombia also operates farms in Quito.

“And so we’re getting some of their Ecuadoran farm’s (roses)” and comparing with the ones from Bogota. “And the thing you see is the head size is bigger.”

Tom’s trip will help him determine which one or two farms in Quito he will work with.

“But we’re experimenting with them because you can’t just get a shipment and say, oh, OK, great, this is wonderful or it’s terrible. One shipment doesn’t tell the story. You have to do it over a number of months.”

And even then it’s a never-ending process.

“But wherever I`m going I`ll go
In search of a Rose”

Wherever he’s going, Tom is in search of a rose, too. The best rose he can find.