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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Did You Know That There Are Flower Trading Cards ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

 ALLEN GINTER SEEDS CARD

I have been collecting baseball cards since 1979. I used to wait for fresh packs of baseball cards to arrive at the corner stores in Roslindale and Scituate. I used all of my money for packs of baseball cards. Thankfully, I rarely chewed the gum. I do miss that smell though as baseball card packs today do not come with gum. 

My card collecting days peaked in 1985. My best cards at that time included a 1976 Topps Carl Yastrzemski, a 1975 Rookie George Brett, 1980 Rookie card of Rickey Henderson and all of Carlton Fisk's cards as he was my hero at the time. 

1979 CARLTON FISK resized 600

I have all these cards today. Thankfully, my mom never threw them away. My top cards now are bit a different. I own a 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson along with 1953 Topps cards of Mickey Mantle, Satchell Paige and Willie Mays. I also collect cards of my friends Ted Lepcio, Ron Kittle and Benny Ayala. Exotic Flowers has nice collection of cards of players who have bought their flowers here; David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes and Tim Wakefield to name a few. 

I still buy a fresh box of baseball card packs every year to share with friends and family on Opening Day. It is a great tradition. Baseball remains my hobby. I spend most of my time at Exotic Flowers selling flowers in Boston.  Like Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, I am an avid reader, passionate marketer, lover of flora and fauna (it was Veeck's idea to plant the ivy at Wrigley Field) and huge baseball fan. Like Veeck and myself, Topps Baseball Cards also sees the connection between nature in baseball.  

 GINTER FLORA (If you are looking to acquire any type of trading card, the best site out there is comc.com)

In 2011, Topps produced an insert set in its Allen & Ginter collection. This subset, known as Flora of the World comprises five cards. The cards were inserted into 1 out of every 144 hobby packs. The coolest thing about these cards though is that they contain flower seeds embedded in the cards. You can actually plant the card itself and it will produce the flowers on the card. How cool is that ? I would love to create a business card like that. Although I do have a pretty cool busines card.

Rick Canale

Tags: Baseball, Bill Veeck, Boston Florist, Red Sox, David Ortiz, Baseball Hall of Fame

What Place Does a Boston Florist Have in The Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jul 10, 2014

Baseball Hall of Fame

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are baseball fans. We celebrate the grand old game any chance we get. On Opening Day, we have a company cookout. We have partnered with the Boston Red Sox and sponsored many little league and softball teams over the years. If you're in Roslindale and talk baseball, rest assured your florist in Boston will always 'talk shop,'. 

Baseball and flowers go hand in hand. Glenn Stout tells us, in his book Fenway 1912, that on April 20th, 1912 Fenway Park opened and pots of flowers greeted the fans. Think about it, pots brimming with flowers welcome people. Baseball people knew this 100 years ago. Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck planted the ivy at Wrigley Field in Chicago in 1937 to make patrons feel more welcome. Yes. Baseball, flora and fauna go hand in hand.

cooperstown collection flowers resized 600 Flowers and baseball provide a spark of nostalgia. Whether you recall Fred Lynn crashing into the Fenway wall in 1975 or the beautiful flowers on your grandmother's dinner table, these images create a bond and experience that your cell phone cannot. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Cooperstown, New York celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. At Exotic Flowers, we have partnered with the Hall of Fame to bring our clientele The Cooperstown Collection. Exotic Flowers will donate twenty percent of the purchase price of specially designed baseball themed floral arrangements and gifts to the Hall of Fame to help raise money and awareness for this valued American Institution. The world needs more museums.

Rick Canale

On another note, Exotic Flowers is proud to announce that the team we sponsor in Westwood, Massachusetts won its championship. The Westwood River Bandits had an amazing run of 12 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie as it captured the third grade championship. 

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Bill Veeck, Fenway Park, Boston Florist, Rick Canale, Baseball Hall of Fame

Burrito ? Bookstore ? Seafood ? Florist ? Who Is the Best in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 08, 2014

boston%27s best florist resized 600
For the third year in a row, Exotic Flowers has been named Best Florist in Boston by the Improper Bostonian Magazine. We welcome the microscope that the title brings. After all, who is to say that Pizzeria Regina's pizza is better than Santarpio's ? Or that, Sweet Cheeks has better barbecue than Red Eyed Pig ? I am sure there are many clients at Winston Flowers and Olympia Flowers that are mystified that the Exotic Flowers was named best florist in Boston for three years in a row. 
Boston's best florist Thank you to the Improper Bostonian for this recognition and the write up (as seen below). 
  • FLORIST

    Exotic Flowers

    Exotic’s assortment of pristine arrangements and stunning wedding-reception centerpieces help this business to stand out in the ever-blooming floral services market. In a pinch to find a gift and can’t make up your mind? Designer’s Choice bouquets are updated daily and always offer something colorful and unexpected.

    609 American Legion Highway, Boston (617-247-2000) exoticflowers.com
Congratulations to our Roslindale neighbors Fornax (best bread) - it is; and Tables of Content (catering).

Tags: Boston Florist, Santarpios, Pizzeria Regina, Improper Bostonian, Boston's Best

World Cup Flower Flop? Not So Fast, Says Boston Florist

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Jun 21, 2014

This article was featured in the 6/18/14 The SAF Wednesday Ebrief

By Mary Westbrook



Exotic Flowers in Boston recently launched its “Cooperstown Collection”— a partnership with The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Owner Rick Canale, who has also been the official florist for the Red Sox, said sports tie-ins, done well, have lots of marketing potential. 

Bloggers in the U.K. are giving a red card to a supermarket chain that tried to capitalize on World Cup fever with a special bouquet — but at least one sports-savvy florist in Boston said the idea has the potential to hit plenty of marketing goaaals. 

Calling the “Come On, England” bouquet concept “painful,” several bloggers put the red and white carnation design, sold at Morrisons grocery stores, at the top of their “worst” lists for World Cup tie-ins. 

“Suddenly, a [groveling] apology from the other half for their latest screw-up just isn’t as gratifying as it used to be,” according to EuroSport. “Alternatively, it’s a rather backhanded way for a guy to [apologize] in advance for spending the next month doing nothing but watching football marathons and angrily debating contentious decisions on social media.” 

The chain also rain afoul of customers in Scotland, who successfully petitioned the stores there to stop playing an endless loop of England-related soccer — er, football —songs. 

Good intentions, lousy promotion? Not so fast, said Rick Canale of Exotic Flowers in Boston, who suggested the bloggers and writers are probably overreacting, and misinterpreting the grocers’ intentions. “I bet [Morrisons] did not sell the bouquet as an apology theme,” he said. “That would be floral suicide.” (At press time, EBrief editors had not been able to obtain the original marketing materials.) 

Canale should know. Exotic Flowers was the official florist of the Boston Red Sox from 2007 to 2009 and won SAF’s Floral Management Marketer of the Year title in 2008. He recently partnered with The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., to launch his new “Cooperstown Collection,” which coincides with the museum’s 75th anniversary. 

Canale said hitching your shop to a sports team or event can be marketing gold, but “it’s all about the approach.” In other words, never market a sports-themed design as an apology, but instead, promote it as a party idea or team-spirited host and hostess gift. When you do that well, you turn a non-floral event into an opportunity for your shop. 

“Believe me, if I liked soccer, I would be pitching World Cup bouquets here, too,” Canale said. “You have to capitalize on the success of special events. [For example], every Election Day, we launch an Election Day category on our website and then rebrand the same category for Veteran’s Day.” 

Tags: Red Sox Florist, Boston Florist, SAF, Rick Canale, Red Sox

How to get a Job as a Florist or in a Flower Shop

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Flower Shop Employee

Having worked in a Boston flower shop for more than thirty years, I am proud to share my experience in how to go about being a florist. I always joke that my first job was cleaning geraniums in the Lombardi Florist greenhouses in Roslindale when I was six years old. But you'd be amazed that creating amazing weddings and stunning florals starts at the bottom. My father has been an established florist in Boston for more than sixty years. His best advice has always been, 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor,'.

floral design I strongly suggest starting at the bottom, sweeping floors, cleaning roses, assisting flower delivery drivers. Start as an intern or apprentice in any flower shop. Whether you are in a Boston florist or New York city flower shop, never lose sight that the basics are so important to provide with you a solid foundation for your career choice as a florist. I also believe that your career path as a florist should begin in a flower shop and not in someone's garage or design studio.

I am not knocking the design studio florist. As a matter of fact, some of the most elaborate floral displays and wedding flowers are created in these flower design warehouses. I suggest working in a flower shop because you will be a witness to all types of clients and their unique requests. 

In a flower shop, you will learn how to wrap flowers, make corsages, design funeral tributes like rosaries, crosses and heart shapes of flowers. The more every day requests you fill for a client, the greater your skill set will be. You will also be forced to think on your feet when dealing with rushed and demanding clients on the retail sales floor of the flower shop.

floral design as a career

Turnover in a flower shop is generally pretty high. New associates often have no idea that the job is so physically and mentally demanding. What the floral apprentice must learn is that paying your dues, working for little starting pay and working holidays can lead to a great career. As florists, we make a difference in people's lives. Florists share emotions. When someone dies, when someone is born, married, sad, celebrating a birthday, falling in love; your local florist becomes a part of your life.

If you cannot wait any longer and your visits to Craig's List are just let down for job openings then get on Twitter and follow @GetFloralJobs. Recently, they posted a job link for a florist in Boston. Check out these requirements, do you have what it takes ?

Ability to work well in fast-paced environment
Completing tasks in an efficient manner
Pleasant manner and outstanding customer service skills
Ability to work well with others as well as independently.
High level of enthusiasm and self-motivation

Team members manage the following responsibilities on a daily basis:
Provide excellent service to customers
Assist clients with product selection
Flower Preparation and Processing
Floral Design
Ability to take phone orders.
Making impressive outdoor displays daily

Please send your availability include hours, from Monday-Sunday. Candidate must be able to work 30-40 hours/wk including at least 1 weekend day.

Tags: Floral Design, Boston Florist, Boston Florist Staff, Working in a Florist

Free Download: Murder Mystery, Short Story, "A Flower to Die By"

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

A Flower to Die For

At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we value the arts and literature. We are all about creating. Our mission is to enhance the lives of everyone who has any contact or interest in our florist.

"A Flower to Die By":

  • written by Boston Author, Suzie Canale
  • You will be on the edge of your seat to find the killer of this murder mystery.

At sixteen pages, you will be asking yourself why this is not a movie.

Suzie is not only our favorite author, but my wife as well.

Download Your free short story here.

Tags: Short Story, Murder Mystery, Boston Florist, Author, Suzie Canale

Mimosa Flower is a Symbol for International Women's Day

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Mar 04, 2014

mimosa in boston resized 600International Women's Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on March 8th. The Day traces its beginnings to the early 20th century as a result of the socialist movement. The holiday recognizes the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries. It is also a chance for us all to show women how much we respect them and appreciate them.

The holiday stirs more emotions in some countries than others.  The custom of giving the mimosa flower can be traced back to Italy around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and the mimosa's symbolism rivals that of a red rose on Valentine's day. 

international womens day boston resized 600

Mimosa's origin can be traced back to Australia. It arrived in Europe around 1820. The plant is quite invasive and should not be placed too close to other plants. Its blooms are often harvested for cut flowers, honey and oils for perfume. You may recognize the blossom at the premium cosmetic store, L'Occitane en Provence.

mimosa womens day boston resized 600

Many clients from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy will often call or email to check on this fleeting flower's availability for March 8th. Mimosa has a lovely scent and Exotic Flowers in Boston will have Mimosa for sale on International Women's Day.


Tags: International Women's Day, Mimosa, Women's Day, Boston Florist

Five Ways Florists Can Sell More Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Aug 22, 2013

red roses delivery in boston resized 600 As florists in Boston, we are facing a fast changing economy. If the gift business is a pie, a florist's slice gets skinnier every day. We are getting bombarded by the supermarkets, the internet and the box stores. The consumer gets savvier and more demanding every day. What can every florist do to recapture market share ? Here are five tips from Exotic Flowers in Boston that have brought us increases in sales since the economy changed in 2007.

  1. Customer Experience - Email order confirmations, delivery confirmations, how your staff dresses; are your vans lettered ? How is your staff treating the client. As professional florists, we must look and act like professionals. How many times a day are you saying 'please' and 'thank you,' - not enough. Are you reaching out to clients with courtesy phone calls and personal hand written notes ?
  2. Special Occasions -  Florists are in an occasion based gift giving business. Our average male clients gets flowers three times per year;Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and his anniversary.  If we can get that person to buy just one more time for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a birthday then we can increase sales by double digits.
  3. Packaging -   How are your flower arrangements and bouquets presented? Hopefully you are treating every purchase as a gift. packaging resized 600 Tissue, gift boxes, and ribbon are all small extras that can set your florist a world apart from FTD and Costco. Take a look at J Crew, they even provide gift bags for gift cards. Are you making the gift wrapping a show ? Think of the man who shines shoes, that snap of the towel is purely show and does nothing to shine a shoe.  
  4. Storefront -  do you have a dynamic storefront ? Do clients feel welcome ? Are you a member of the community ? Do you offer new varieties of flowers to create interest ? Are you enticing a return visit with your service and product ? Forget the coupons. Clients that are loyal on price are not loyal for long. Create buzz and offer the unexpected. On Valentine's Day 2013, we had former Baywatch star Traci Bingham at the store helping clients. Customers are still talking about it six months later. 
  5. Social Media - take some time and engage your clients on line. Blog to entertain and educate. Share digital images regulary. Join the conversation online. Most importantly, leave the store. Go to the bank. Be seen transacting business in your community and do not be shy about driving your lettered company vehicle. It is some of the best advertising you can do.

Tags: Floral Indusrty, Boston Florist, FTD, Floral Management, Marketing

Red Sox Go On Winning Streak with Flowers in the Dugout

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jul 17, 2013

jose iglesias flowers resized 600 Who says flowers don't belong in baseball? Just ask Red Sox Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli. They recently purchased flowers for their third base coach Brian Butterfield in Seattle. Since this purchase, the Red Sox have won four straight games and the flowers remained in the dugout for each game.

Infielder Jose Iglesias was given the charge of caring for the flowers and making sure they had safely made the trip from Seattle to Oakland.

redsox flowers0713.r resized 600

On Friday, July 19th the Red Sox will host the Yankees at Fenway Park. I have already reached out to Napoli and Iglesias via twitter to offer Exotic Flowers in Boston delivery service to the dugout for the second half of the season. 

Let's hope the flowers bring a stroke of World Series fortune to the Red Sox.

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Boston Florist, Boston Flower Delivery, Red Sox

42 Things We Love About Being a Florist in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Patriot's Day in Boston is filled with an abundance of activities for all Bostonians and New Englanders. From revolutionary battle reenactments to the 11am Red Sox game to the Boston Marathon, this day is a major holiday in Massachusetts. In 2013, Patriot's Day happens also to fall on April 15th. While April 15 is synonymous with Tax Day, this year it is also Jackie Robinson Day.  42 resized 600

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tells us that 42 is the answer to everything in the universe. Perhaps. But today I just want to share the 42 things we love most about being a florist in Boston in honor of the great Jackie Robinson.

  1. The Swan Boats
  2. The Boston Marathon
  3. Heartbreak Hill
  4. The Celtics
  5. The Museum of Fine Arts
  6. Fenway Park
  7. The Zakim Bridge
  8. Arnold Arboretum
  9. Franklin Park Zoo
  10. Santarpio's Pizza
  11. New Kids on the Block new kids320 resized 600
  12. Paul Revere's House
  13. The North End
  14. Bunker Hill Monument
  15. The Freedom Trail
  16. Athens of America
  17. Hospitals in Boston
  18. Roxbury Latin School
  19. Sam Adams
  20. USS Constitution
  21. The Bruins
  22. Pizzeria Regina
  23. Mike's Pastry
  24. The Public Gardens
  25. Baked Beans classic boston baked beans resized 600
  26. Union Oyster House
  27. The Holocaust Memorial
  28. Castle Island
  29. Gardner Museum
  30. Boston Pops
  31. JFK Library
  32. Newbury Street
  33. The ICA
  34. Beantown
  35. Red Sox
  36. Hubway
  37. New Edition
  38. Faneuil Hall
  39. Walking City
  40. we 'Pahk ah cahs'
  41. Forest Hills Cemetery
  42. Bostonians
of course no tribute to Jackie Robinson we could be complete without recommending the new movie 42. 

Tags: Fenway Park, Boston Bruins, Patriot's Day, JFK, U.S. Constitution, Boston Florist, Santarpios, Pizzeria Regina, Boston, Red Sox, Boston College

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