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Postcard from South America: Medellin flower farms

While they’re getting ready to play a big football game in Houston, Royer’s is gearing up for its version of the Super Bowl with our annual pre-Valentine’s Day trip to South America.

Tom Royer, our senior vice president and chief operating officer, has been making the trip for decades. In recent years, he has been joined by his nephew, Geoffrey Royer, who is a Royer’s area manager.

Their trek allows them to ensure that the roses and other Valentine’s Day flowers growing specifically for our customers are of the highest quality.

Day 1 found Tom and Geoff at the Liberty and Mira Monte farms in Medellin, Colombia, from which Royer’s mainly purchases daisies and cushion poms.

“The thing I took from today was how very technical it all is and the precision and detail needed to make it all work correctly,” Geoff said.

Conversation at both farms turned to propagation, or the process from seed to mother plants from which cuttings are taken. The cuttings beget plugs that are planted into vast beds and become the flowers we buy.

Planting for Mother’s Day

Geoff noted that while we’re focused on Valentine’s Day, the farms are planting for Mother’s Day.

“Planting any later than the next week or so could cause the crop to be too late for Mother’s Day,” Geoff said.

He noted the multiple variables that play roles in how flowers develop, from minerals such as phosphorus and potassium to sunlight and temperature.

Whatever their current products, the farms aren’t resting on their laurels. They work with breeders to create the varieties of flowers that Royer’s and other florists purchase.

“It’s not a simple process,” Geoff said. “Hundreds of thousands of seeds are gone through and test to see which ones produce plants and products that could be valued in the marketplace.

“They are then propagated and tested over time to see if they have issues with disease or how well they produce. If they have a winner, it takes time to then create enough cuttings to have a large enough production to make an impact.”

 

 

 


Introducing the Royer’s Kids Club schedule for the rest of 2017

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One Royer’s Kids Club event is in the books, but four more are to come this year.

Kids club events are free to children ages 5 to 12. We typically have sessions at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Here’s the rest of the 2017 schedule with each event’s theme:

March 25: Easter (see photo)

June 17: Stems Hunger food drive (nonperishable food donation requested)

Sept. 9: Grandparents Day

Nov. 11: Bouquets for Books (new children’s book donation requested)

We also encourage you to register for the kids club as you’ll receive a membership card, our quarterly Buds newsletter, and opportunities to enter contests and win prizes.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

 


Kicking off a new year of Royer’s Kids Club events

Love was in the air — and many children were in our stores — on Jan. 21 for the first of five Royer’s Kids Club events in 2017. Children ages 5 to 12 made a special “Be Mine, Valentine!” arrangement and received free balloons, as you can see in the photos below.

If you joined us, thank you for taking the time. If you missed out, please note that we have events scheduled for March 25, June 17, Sept. 9 and Nov. 11.

Finally, if you aren’t official members of the kids club, you can sign up for free by following this link.


Royer’s employees raise $990 for Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition with purchase of pink polo shirts

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Employees of Royer’s Flowers have donated $990 to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

The contribution reflects the employees’ fall purchase of pink polo shirts bearing Royer’s logo. The sale of each shirt raised $10 for the Lebanon-based nonprofit.

The coalition (pabreastcancer.org) represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants.

Photo: From left, Candace Oliver, manager trainee at Royer’s Flowers in Lebanon, and Kristen Snoke, community outreach director, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. Oliver is wearing one of the pink polo shirts Royer’s employees purchased to raise money for the coalition.

 


Royer’s Kids Club puts heart into new year with free Valentine’s Day event Jan. 21

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We’re kicking off the 2017 Royer’s Kids Club schedule with a free event on Jan. 21 in all stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a special “Be Mine, Valentine!” arrangement, featuring a teacup with a heart on it and a red wire stick-in heart. Participants also will receive a free balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store.


News media visits Royer’s version of Santa’s workshop

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We spread holiday cheer. We have a busy workshop. We deliver to peoples’ homes.

Royer’s has more than a little in common with Santa, and we like to show off our version of the North Pole. That’s why we have a standing offer for the news media to visit our central design department in Lebanon and our stores to capture a flavor of the season.

LEBANON DAILY NEWS
On Dec. 7, we welcomed the Lebanon Daily News to our Lebanon complex. The resulting video, set to a jaunty tune, shows how we decorate our Tartan Poinsettia:

69 NEWS BERKS EDITION
Within hours of the Daily News visiting, so, too, did WFMZ-TV/Channel 69 from Berks County. The TV station toured central design and interviewed our store managers in Lebanon, Erica Bixby (photo, top), and Reading, Amy Michalski, for their takes on the busy holiday season.

Poinsettia business ‘poppin” for local flower shops


The making of our Tartan Poinsettia

Inside our version of Santa’s workshop, the talented employees of Royer’s are handcrafting thousands of holiday arrangements in our central design department.

Here’s a glimpse into the making of just one version: Our Tartan Poinsettia, featuring five-plus blooms and measuring 16 to 18 inches in height.

We’d like to make one especially for you. It’s as easy as clicking here to place your order.


Royer’s presents Red Cross with hundreds of cards, coloring pages for active military and veterans

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Royer’s collected hundreds of cards and coloring pages for active military and veterans as part of the American Red Cross’ “Holidays for Heroes” program.

From Nov. 11-23 in each of our 16 stores, Royer’s invited the public to donate the items, which are destined for military installations, VFWs, American Legions, the Lebanon VA and retirement homes in 22 counties in central Pennsylvania.

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The American Red Cross (redcross.org/centralpa) prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Last year in central Pennsylvania, the Red Cross assisted close to 2,000 people affected by nearly 750 local disasters.

Photos: Top from left, Kathy Tracy, regional service to armed forces outreach lead, Central PA region, American Red Cross, and Dena Eberhart, human resources manager, Royer’s; left, the hundreds of cards and coloring pages.


Royer’s annual book drive collects 1,370 new children’s titles for public libraries in seven counties

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Royer’s annual book drive collected 1,370 new children’s titles for public libraries in the seven counties where the company operates.

Bouquets for Books ran Oct. 22-Nov. 5.

Anyone who donated a new children’s book was eligible to receive a free bouquet. Here are the libraries and the number of books presented to them this year:

  • Berks County Public Libraries: 177
  • Cumberland County Library System: 156
  • Dauphin County Library System: 96
  • Hershey Public Library (independent): 113
  • Middletown Public Library (independent): 15
  • Franklin County Library System: 106
  • Lebanon County Libraries: 165
  • Library System of Lancaster County: 315
  • York County Library System: 227

Bouquets for Books, which has yielded nearly 17,000 books in its 11-year history, will return Oct. 28-Nov. 11, 2017.

Photo: From left, Stephanie Williams, district consultant, Lebanon County Library System, and Erica Bixby, store manager at Royer’s Flowers & Gifts in Lebanon.


Royer’s partners with Manheim Township High School to raise more than $400 for Mini-THON

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Kara Rickenbach approached Royer’s with a fundraising idea for Manheim Township High School’s Mini-THON in February.

Rickenbach, a junior and head of the Lancaster County school’s donor and alumni relations committee, wanted to sell corsages and boutonnieres to classmates attending homecoming in October.

Working with Pam Sigel, who manages Royer’s Lancaster North store, Rickenbach and other committee members took orders during school lunches.

Earning a 15 percent commission on their sales, the committee raised $413.86. The school’s seventh annual Mini-THON, scheduled for Feb. 24, will benefit Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

Cheryl Brill, Royer’s vice president of retail operations, said the company hopes to build on Rickenbach’s efforts by working with Manheim Township and other high schools on similar fundraisers.

Photo: From left, Christopher Sneeringer, Mini-THON advisor, and Kara Rickenbach, donor and alumni committee chair, Manheim Township High School; and Pam Sigel, store manager of Royer’s, 873 N. Queen St., Lancaster.