CITY OF MORE HEAD — Despite the challenges of inflation and supply chain issues, flower shops and bakeries across the county say they have plenty of flowers and goodies for Valentine’s Day, which is Monday.
Shoppers may have to dig a little deeper into their pockets this year, but business owners, like Kristy Brittingham, owner of Sandy’s Flower Shoppe in Morehead City, Beaufort and Havelock, said she was trying to keep prices down comparable to those of last year.
“The cost has almost doubled this year for transporting our flower shipments,” Ms Brittingham said on Thursday. “We’re trying to keep our prices about the same as last year because we want people to be able to enjoy Valentine’s Day.”
While sellers in some parts of the country had difficulty getting certain flowers, Ms Brittingham said she placed her orders with wholesalers in early December to ensure she would be able to get them on time.
“We just got our first shipment last night and we’re going to work late because we want to make sure the flowers are as fresh as possible,” she said. “We have more expeditions coming up this weekend.”
Ms Brittingham said those wanting flowers for someone special should be able to find anything between $15 and $250, which would be for an elaborate arrangement of 24 roses and extras.
Melissa Taylor, owner of Flowers by Melissa in Morehead City, said she was also able to secure an ample supply of flowers.
“Our wholesalers have been able to keep up,” Ms. Taylor said. “Gasoline and shipping prices have gone up, but not badly. I’m going to have to raise my rates from last year.
She said most of the floral arrangements she offers start at $50.
As for those who love sweets, Pam Kaiser, owner of Pam’s Specialized Catering in Morehead City, said that despite a nationwide shortage of cream cheese for cheesecakes, she also has plenty of these and other goodies for the Valentine’s Day.
“Cream cheese has been hard to find at wholesalers or grocers since December,” she said. “I stocked up when I heard it was coming, so I’ve got plenty to spend Valentine’s Day on.”
While cheesecakes are popular for the holiday of love, she said the most popular item is chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Prices will be higher than last year, but Ms Kaiser said she was trying to keep them as low as possible.
A dozen chocolate covered strawberries cost $14.95. A 6-inch chocolate cheesecake with decorative strawberries and cookies on top is $34.95. An 11-inch chocolate cheesecake with a decorative top costs $44.95.
Ms Kaiser and flower shop owners said they would be open overtime until Monday to ensure those wishing to purchase items could do so.
“I am not normally open on Mondays, but we will be open on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Ms Kaiser said.
Ms Taylor said Flowers by Melissa will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Monday.
“We will do deliveries on Saturdays, but pick-ups only on Sundays. We will make deliveries on Mondays, and delivery times are normally 1 or 2 p.m.,” she said.
Ms Brittingham said all Sandy’s Flower Shoppe locations will be open from 8.30am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, and “8.30am until anytime” on Valentine’s Day.
“We will try not to cut delivery orders until around noon on Monday,” Ms Brittingham said. “We have lots of extra people on site to help with orders and deliveries.”
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.