Enchanted Florist serving customers in Lewiston, Niagara Falls
By Joshua Maloni
For 364 days each year, our mothers selflessly cook, clean, launder, educate, transport, encourage, motivate and, yes, change the cat litter.
In return, we dedicate one day to them – showing our love and appreciation; maybe serving breakfast in bed and handing off a greeting card.
It’s not an equitable arrangement, by any means.
Still, our mothers don’t complain about this imbalance – they simply say, “Thank you,” and continue their chores.
Well, wouldn’t those tasks seem cheerier if, say, we all surprised our moms with flowers this Mother’s Day?
After all, they say, “Flowers are like friends; they bring color to your world.”
For more than a quarter-century, Enchanted Florist has been a go-to destination for ways in which to brighten someone’s day.
“We opened up in 1984; and basically, it was myself and my mother (Delores) who opened up the business,” Peter Tagliarini said. “I knew nothing about the floral business. I was selling industrial stainless steel in Cincinnati at the time. And my mother had the experience in designing, because she had worked with several local florists in the area for about a 20-year period. She had always wanted to open up her own shop, and I was in a situation where this company I was working with wanted me to travel five days a week. I was thinking about starting a family; I didn't want to do the traveling. So, she asked if I was interested in joining her and opening up this business; and I thought, ‘Why not?’
“I kind of knew about the business end, as far as how to set up a business, but I didn't know anything about flowers. So, for the first six months I would have to say, I was flying by the seat of my pants. But my mother had a good knowledge of the business, as far as the floral end of it was concerned. And we ended up hiring our first employee after being in business for like a month-and-a-half, because our business took off so well.
“We began in Lewiston, right on Center Street, and the reception was phenomenal. That was our beginning. And then in 1990, I opened up my second location Niagara Falls.”
Tagliarini said he learned customer service from his father, Phil.
“Dealing with the public has been in our family since my father was in business. He owned a gas station on the corner of 30th and Pine. It was called Pete’s Service Station. And that essentially opened up (in 1937),” he said. “In our family, we're used to dealing with the public, and dealing with retail, and keeping people satisfied.
“And the bottom line is that you have to have a good product. If you don't have a good product, and you don't back that up with good service, then you won't be in business. And if there's a problem, resolve the problem for the customer’s satisfaction. That’s, I think, the name of the game in any retail: Good quality product, good service, and take care of any problems and make sure the customer is satisfied.”
While people know they can come to Enchanted Florist for great flowers, they might not know where those flowers originate.
“A good bulk of our flowers now are coming between South America – basically, Ecuador and Bogota, Colombia – and also from California. And also a good source of our flowers are coming in from Canada now,” Tagliarini said. “We’re fortunate enough to have a local wholesaler who carries a lot of the Canadian and the South American product. And we have access to their warehouse 24 hours a day, so we can always respond quickly to certain requests of flowers with a good source of inventory.”
Though flowers are in greater demand for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, they make an ideal gift any time of year.
“Flowers are seasonal,” Tagliarini said. “What's available this month might not be available next month. And that probably applies to about maybe 20% of the flowers that we offer. The rest of them are pretty standard flowers that are available all year long. But I have to say, as an average, I probably have about 15 to 20 different varieties of flowers that we try to offer.”
He explained, “Everybody loves flowers. Everybody loves roses. So, we carry a good inventory of both long-stemmed roses, short-stemmed roses, and then we carry spray roses. I have those on a continual basis.
“And then after that, I would have to say probably a lot of people will measure the quality of their flower by how long it lasts. And all flowers have different lengths of life. But the longest lasting are normally in the chrysanthemum family – they're called pom poms, and also carnations – and those are normally the longest-lasting flowers. So, what we normally do is we'll put a combination of those flowers together. And then they will give people not only a nice, varied look in their bouquets, but a long-lasting bouquet, too.”
In 1990, Enchanted Florist added a gift gallery to its Lewiston location.
“We put in a display area for our gift items, and that varies broadly also,” Tagliarini said. “But we normally carry a nice variety of windchimes. We carry different types of aromatherapy products. We carry different types of glass and ceramic containers. And then, of course, we also carry some crystal figurines and carry a few products of Lenox.”
Mother’s Day orders will be accepted until next Saturday, May 8. As far as the best way to order, Tagliarini said it depends on one’s preference.
“I personally like to talk to people. I can give them a better idea as to what's in inventory,” he said. “There's hundreds of pictures on my website, and sometimes not all that product is available. So, calling is nice. But I think the trend is more people are just placing orders on the website, and they're allowing us to use whatever we feel as though is the best product at that time.”
Call 716-754-8888 (Lewiston) or 716-297-4400 (Niagara Falls); visit https://www.enchantedfloristny.com/; or stop into 739 Center St., or 2448 Military Road.