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Behind the scenes: Royer’s expanded direct ship program serves 48 states

Royer’s Flowers has come a long way in the 80-some years since Hannah Royer grew African violets on her windowsill in Lebanon, Pa., that she sold at a local garment factory and at area farmer’s markets.
Today, while our brick-and-mortar stores and online presence serve customers in seven counties in south-central and eastern Pennsylvania, Royer’s has vastly expanded its direct ship program. The latter reaches the contiguous United States (everything but Alaska and Hawaii), offering $9.99 overnight delivery via FedEx.
But how does a florist in Lebanon, Pa., send flowers to, say, Lebanon, N.H., or Lebanon, Mo., while ensuring freshness upon arrival?
It takes an eye for detail, which is ingrained in the culture of our fourth-generation, family-owned company, and a commitment to delivering high-quality products and customer service that Royer’s has honed across decades.
In fact, Royer’s has never strayed from its roots: our flagship store in Lebanon is on the exact spot where Hannah and her husband, Lester, converted their two-car garage into a flower shop.
Designers in the Lebanon store create each direct ship arrangement, while our adjacent central design department packages them for afternoon pickup by FedEx.
You can catch a glimpse of this painstaking process in the photos below.
Taylor, a designer in Lebanon, uses two green twisty ties to combine the stems of this Elegant Orchids arrangement. Using white tape, she marks a cutting line one inch from the bottom of the stems. This tells the recipient where to give the stems a fresh cut to promote the uptake of water and nutrients.

Once each day’s direct ship orders are created, they are delivered to the central design department.
In these photos, Kim, assistant manager in CD, prepares each arrangement for safe shipping. She begins by securing the glass vase with another green twisty tie and adding thick red shredded paper.
“It helps to pack it so it doesn’t shift too much,” Kim said of the paper.

The stem bottoms are wrapped in green sponge, which is attached using rubber bands. The sponge soaks in a water/fertilizer mixture for a few minutes until saturated. This will hydrate and nourish the stems until they arrive at their final destination, where they can be placed in a vase full of water.
In the meantime, a green plastic bag goes over the sponge as a barrier between the stems and the shredded paper and corrugated cardboard box.
The entire arrangement then goes into a decorated plastic wrap. The wrap protects the arrangement and makes it unmistakable that this is a special gift.

The flowers now are placed in the box, the stems inside the vase. More shredded paper is added, along with a packet of flower food and unpacking and care instructions.
These steps completed, the package will bide its time in a cooler until FedEx arrives to take it on a journey somewhere within the contiguous 48 states.

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