Alpharetta Florist Reviews – Part 1

This is the first post of a two part review of florists in Alpharetta.

You could blame the big box retailers I suppose. The independent florist in America is dying and that is a shame. I’m usually not one to go blaming Walmart for the troubles of the small businessman. I like Walmart… a lot. In the case of florists, I don’t think it is Walmart they have to blame.

In my view, florists today have two worries. The first is the drop shipment suppliers. These are the internet and phone flower sellers that basically Fedex a box of flowers to your “lucky” recipient. I’m not discussing these guys. You’re a schmuck if you even consider buying from these clowns.

Second, I think florists need to worry about grocery stores. While Walmart and Target do indeed sell flowers on the cheap, they are currently not clearing floor space for dedicated flower departments. There are some halfway decent flowers to be bought in grocery stores like Publix and Kroger. As a result of all this, Alpharetta has a paltry number of full service florists.

So that’s where my little exercise comes in. Can the flowers purchased at grocery stores and big box retailers stack up to a real-deal florist? Last weekend was my wedding anniversary. I thought this was the perfect time for such a comparison. Over the course of two days I bought seven arrangements of red roses and presented them to my beautiful bride. Two of them were obviously from florists while the others were store bought. I didn’t tell her anything else about them. I randomly numbered the arrangements so I could keep track.

We’re a few days into my little exercise so I don’t want to give final results. I’ll wait and see which flowers have longevity before posting my final review. So far the roses are holding up pretty well. I’m seeing some drooping from one of the expensive florists, which is disappointing.

This chart shows where I purchased the flowers and the after tax cost. Some arrangements had more than a dozen so I noted the quantity.

Flowers Purchased

Florist / Store Cost Number of Flowers
Publix - Downtown Alpharetta $16.04 12
Alpharetta Flower Market - Downtown Alpharetta $69.55 12
Costco - Windward $17.11 24
Kroger - Windward $13.90 15
Target - Hwy 9 Milton $10.69 12
Walmart - Windward $10.70 12
Windward Florist $69.55 12

The Value of the Florist

It is all about the presentation. The two arrangements from florists I purchased both came in heavy vases with red ribbons tied to them. The roses themselves were slightly larger than store bought and the stems were longer and thicker. The extra greenery was nice with white contrast from baby’s breath. While some store bought flowers will contain extra greenery, it usually isn’t much. Store bought flowers come in these cheap plastic bags and look terrible.

I appreciate the service I get out of a real florist. In my next post I’ll get into some of the extras I received at Alpharetta’s florists. If you are a regular buyer of flowers, it pays to get to know your florist. Each flower has a season. Knowing when that is and getting hints from your florist will result in bigger and more beautiful flowers that last longer. Is it worth paying four or five times the cost? Stay tuned and I’ll let you know what I think.

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