On Feb. 7, Royer’s Flowers & Gifts welcomed WGAL, abc27 and PennLive/The Patriot-News to the heart of its Valentine’s Day operation, at its corporate complex in Lebanon.
Geoff Royer, vice president of central operations, noted the importance of ordering flowers early to guarantee availability. The pandemic has seen unprecedented demand for flowers that have become harder to source.
“We’re trying to get the word out sooner so that people can get their flowers delivered earlier,” Geoff told Pennlive/Patriot-News. “And then they get to be the hero because their flowers get delivered before anyone else’s … your wife or girlfriend will get their flowers Thursday, Friday or Saturday, instead of Monday.”
This year’s Super Bowl is the latest ever: the day before Valentine’s Day. Royer’s is reminding customers not to overlook ordering flowers as they prepare for the football game.
“We are delivering on Sunday, too,” Geoff said. “So, you could get your flowers delivered on Super Bowl Sunday and then be the hero at your party because your wife gets flowers at the party.”
“What kid hasn’t picked flowers out of the yard and carried them inside?,” said Woody Felty, Royer’s vice president of merchandising.
Woody visited Fox 43 on May 2 to discuss Mother’s Day, which is May 11. He appeared in-studio with Fox 43 Morning News co-anchor Amy Lutz.
“My daughter thinks the yellow ones that are growing in the grass are, in fact, flowers,” Lutz said. “I have not had the heart to tell her otherwise.”
“They’re still pretty, aren’t they?” Woody said of dandelions. “Even a weed has some color and texture.”
‘Mom’s going to share’
But if plants and flowers are more to your liking, Woody offered a range of options, from traditional mixed bouquets and plants to trendier succulents and terrariums. He noted that an estimated one-third of American adults will buy cut flowers or plants as a gift for this Mother’s Day.
Terrariums, he said, are “pretty much a self-contained arrangement.” The glass dome creates condensation that then waters the plant, resulting in “a rain forest, tropical feel.”
Children like giving gifts to Mom, too. He suggested a plush teddy bear, or a box of chocolates “because Mom’s going to share.”
For mothers receiving fresh-cut flowers, Woody said, can make them last their longest by recutting the stems at least one inch from the bottom and add preservative (a packet should come with the flowers) to the water. A bouquet from Royer’s is designed to be dropped into a vase without much effort on the part of the recipient.
Geoff Royer had been on the go for days, including an annual pre-Valentine’s Day trip to South America to check up on Royer’s rose crop.
But on this day, Geoff’s near-constant movement was confined to Royer’s corporate complex in Lebanon, specifically the central design department where teams of associates gathered around long tables to hand-craft arrangements for the company’s 16 stores in seven counties.
Yet Geoff, vice president of central operations, stopped long enough for a brief interview with Patriot-News/Pennlive photographer Dan Gleiter.
“We’ll do about 27,000 arrangements for the holiday,” Geoff explained, the room bustling behind him. “Fifteen thousand or so of those will be roses. We’ll also do mixed bouquets, rose bunches and loose flowers, as well. We’ll do about 10,000 deliveries on Valentine’s Day itself.”
Meanwhile, PBS39’s Berks County reporter Brittany Sweeney visited Royer’s Reading store for her look at Valentine’s Day. She spoke with Jenni Eberly, Royer’s market manager in Berks County.
“With the vases prepped and the flowers pruned,” Sweeney began her story, “less than a week out, Valentine’s Day hustle is under way.”
“This is our Super Bowl,” Jenni explained. “We get very excited.”
She explained how Geoff and his uncle, CEO Tom Royer, painstakingly review their specific flower crop at farms in South America and then follow the shipment as it makes its way through U.S. customs in Miami and onto tractor-trailers for the ride to Lebanon.
“Because even though we’re dealing with this huge volume, we don’t ever want to sacrifice quality,” Jenni said.
That volume totals a half-million roses and carnations at Valentine’s Day. Each one of those roses is “individually touched and cleaned and the thorns stripped, any of the bad petals peeled off so the roses look perfect for their arrival to the customer’s home.”
Asked what he was purchasing, customer Robert Latshaw said: “Definitely roses because I think that’s what everybody wants. Stick with tradition, right?”
Despite the volume, the flowers pass through Royer’s in short order.
“It comes in and goes out very quickly, and at the end we’re helping a lot of people be heroes to their loved ones,” Jenni said. “It’s great.”
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.
Erica Bixby, our store manager in Hershey, brought along a prom primer for her latest appearance on Fox 43 Morning News.
Joining Melanie Orlins of Fox 43, Erica said “bling is in” for this prom season.
Erica shared an array of bracelet options to which a corsage can be attached.
“These are great keepsakes,” Erica said of the bracelets. She suggested rhinestones and ribbons as nice complements to the bracelets.
As for flowers, orchids and roses are traditional favorites; this year, succulents are popular.
“It’s always best to complement” when it comes to flower colors for corsages and boutonnieres, Erica said. “Sometimes people will get held up trying to match exactly. It always looks nice when you have a contrast or a little bit of color against the dress. And it makes the pictures look really nice, too.”
Tom Royer, one of Royer’s third-generation family owners, showed his guests the Lebanon operations, which include the company’s flagship store, distribution center, greenhouses, and central design department.
“Like Santa’s workshop,” Mallett said in her story’s introduction, describing central design, “but in lieu of toys, flowers. Lots of them. About 20,000 poinsettias will go out for the holiday.”
Barry Spengler, Royer’s vice president of operations, is a regular contributor to Fox 43 Morning News. For his final visit of 2014 to the station’s York studio, he brought with him poinsettias, a carnation snowman and other symbols of the holiday season.
You might say that Fox 43 Morning News carved out some time to talk about Halloween and, more so, Royer’s annual children’s book drive.
Barry Spengler, Royer’s vice president of operations, joined host Chris Garrett to discuss “Bouquets for Books,” which returns for its ninth year Nov. 1-8. In its first eight years, the book drive collected more than 12,400 new children’s books for area public libraries.