OLIVETTE, MO. (KTVI) - Big bouquets are big business on this holiday of love. Retailers say Valentine`s Day is the busiest day of the year for any florist in the country.
"We'll go through about a quarter of a million stems of roses,' said Dierbergs Cut Floral Director Lou Knockel.
"We have about a 175 drivers,' said Dierbergs Floral Transport Manager Ed O`Brien. 'We make a little over 2,500 deliveries a day."
But, the holiday actually started a long time ago for the Floral Central Facility in Olivette, Missouri.
"This is our Superbowl of our industry, and we've been planning this for six to eight weeks,' O`Brien explained. "We stagger our start times on our drivers; keep the flow of the work going smoothly."
O`Brien watched team members feverishly pack bouquets and rush them to cars, heading for homes and offices. Some blooms would go to Dierbergs 24 stores in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Northern Jefferson County, and parts of Illinois. Managers hired extra staff for Valentine's Day, just like other retailers hire for Christmas.
"We have a staff that probably triples in force,' Knockel said. 'And, the staff that we have is very well-seasoned. They come back to us every year. That really helps."
The extra florists keep families happy, too.
"This one here is for my wife,' Montez Fitzpatrick pointed to a bouquet, then a single bloom. 'This is for my oldest daughter.'
For those who didn't get their orders in until just a little too late, there was still hope.
"Among us guys, it's one of those things you don't normally hear about until someone messes up,' Fitzpatrick laughed. 'But, we have kind of a support group for those guys who did mess up.'
"If you come into our stores, we have cash and carry,' O`Brien assured anyone needing a florist on the day after Valentine`s.