SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- Mother's Day is just a few days away, and so far, business is "blooming" for florists. But shipping delays are causing a flower shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It could mean you'll pay more for that bouquet for mom.
The phone has been ringing a lot at Ashby Flowers in Berkeley, California.
Mother's Day flower orders are coming in hot. Owner Marcy Simon barely has time to unload the delivery van packed with fresh blooms she'll need for more than 300 arrangements.
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"Orders are coming in. It's a very different vibe from last year," Simon said.
But getting the flowers has been complicated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to flower shortages and shipment delays from South America.
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"We're experiencing the highest prices for Mother's Day flowers in 30 years. We're paying more for roses than we did on Valentine's Day " Simon said.
Many florists have no choice but to pass the extra cost on to customers.
Marco Paredes is ordering his flowers for mom.
"I wasn't surprised by the spike in prices, but I'm in total support of small businesses," he said.
In San Rafael, employees at Burns' Florist are working to fill lots of mother's day orders, online and in-store.
Owner Kelly Pare is paying more for flowers but she's trying to keep her customers from wilting under higher prices.
"The way I can balance, get less expensive vases, fill with more flower, it looks just as grand," said Pare.
Kelly needs help. She's short-staffed due to the pandemic, the "now hiring" banner hangs out front.
The boost in businesses is a good thing for small businesses, which have been struggling.
"Everybody wants to help mom. It's mother's day we love that," Simon said.
Florists say it's not too late to order blooms for mom. Some will take orders through Saturday morning for delivery.