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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Sonny Canale Celebrates His 65th Year as Owner at Exotic Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 12, 2022


On Tuesday, July 12th: Arnold 'Sonny' Canale will have been the owner and operator of Lombardi Florist for 65 years. An amazing testament to the talent, work ethic, and care for clients. As we tell clients every day, Sonny must be doing something right.

On July 12th, 1957 - Arnold 'Sonny' Canale purchased Lombardi Florist & Nurserymen at 599 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. Sonny had worked there for years as a designer, grower, salesman, delivery driver, and floor sweeper.

Sonny's mantra since that day has been 'never hire anyone who cannot sweep the floor.' That work ethic has remained in place at Exotic Flowers for 65 years.

Sonny remains at the top of the Exotic Flowers hierarchy. He works seven days on the property. So clients can rest easy knowing that the boss tends to every detail. 

In 65 years - he's sold more than five million roses, one million carnations, more than one million deliveries, grown thousands of poinsettias and outdoor plants, and has designed a million floral arrangements. He has operated five locations, supported dozens of charities, and employed hundreds. Three Best of Boston awards, a World Series florist, a PGA Championship florist, FTD Top 1000, Top 500, Top 250, Top 100, and Top 10. Teleflora Top 1000, 500, 250, 100 & 50. Floral Management Marketer of the Year, RedBook Circle of Excellence. The numbers are not only staggering but humbling.

Stop by the shop on July 12 and say hi or on the 13th have a piece of cake with old and current staff. Family businesses are not just charming but the backbone of a community and we're proud to be Your Florist.

609 American Legion Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131


Tags: Family Business, Roslindale Florist, Sonny Canale

Raising Boys Who Love Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 01, 2017

I’m a mom of two boys and also a big lover of plants and flowers so the question is, “How do I combine them both?”  It’s a stereotype that boys don’t belong around the frilly stuff and should instead be committed solely to the “manly” rough and tumbling activities associated with the outdoors.  Flower designing may as well be stricken right off the list as something the male species should be attracted to and to put it simply… That’s just isn’t right.  Although admittedly, times are getting better in terms of it being socially acceptable to wipe clean the lines drawn for “girl hobbies” vs. “boy hobbies”, I still find this particular stereotype a frustrating issue to bend.  Even though girls have been thankfully increasing the ratios as athletes found within hockey, football and baseball- the male species seems to be having a more difficult time adapting to activities, which have previously been seen as “chic stuff”.  As you can imagine, flower arranging is right up on the top of the tier and I for one feel this is a shame.  Is there a way to attract more boys to the floral world?  I believe there is. lance c.jpg

One way of encouraging a healthy connection to plants and flowers is to partake in hikes where wildflowers are prevalent, visiting preservation areas where plant life is abundant and reading about horticulture together.  By exposing boys to the beauty of flowers, we can stimulate growth that reaches far beyond what we could ever imagine.  Did you know that males who possess a connection to both plants and flowers have a greater likelihood to become compassionate, giving and understanding?   Did you also know that boys who have an early education about horticulture possess stronger skills within creative thinking, planning and organization?  Really, it’s true!  Others believe that it may also advance early development of coping skills as well as fuel a longer and happier life in general.  Now these should be reasons enough alone why we should be fostering this important connection to flowers!  So how should we go about it?  Try these simple ways to support a lasting relationship, which might stimulate positive outcomes throughout a boy’s entire life.

  1. Nature Walks
  2. Family Gardens
  3. Simple Flower Arranging
  4. Cooking with Flowers
  5. Artwork Mirroring Flowers

suzie c.jpg


Tags: Family Business, Family Time, Suzie Canale, Kids

Baseball, Family, Flowers and Thanksgiving

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Nov 23, 2016

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time."

Dear friends,
I am fortunate to share your special moments with you. Sending flowers for births and anniversaries is something I cherish and gives my job meaning. I like to share my special moments with you too. This Columbus Day weekend, my family went to Niagara Falls and Cooperstown.

ryan and lance canale.jpg
While family time remains my favorite pasttime, baseball is my second favorite. The Baseball Hall of Fame's mission statement includes a focus on connecting generations through by baseball by tellings its stories and using its artifacts to bring generations together.
Isn't that what the holidays and Thanksgiving are all about ? We connect generations through our traditions and our stories. Our artifacts are the flowers on the table. We're grateful for your place at the table.

Rick Canale

Tags: Baseball, Family Business, Traditions, Family Time, Thanksgiving, Baseball Hall of Fame

Every Day is Mother's Day at Exotic Flowers in Boston

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, May 06, 2014

Mother's Day Flowers in BostonAt Exotic Flowers in Boston and Lombardi Florist in Roslindale, we often say ' every day is Mother's Day.' This statement may seem trite, but it is on point. Every day is Mother's Day. Mother's Day may be celebrated on the second Sunday of May, but Mother's Day should be celebrated every day.

What better to show your mom, grandmother or anyone you call 'mom' how much you appreciate them than fresh flowers from Exotic Flowers, Boston's Premier Florist.

Mother's Day Boston FloristMother's Day at Exotic Flowers in Boston begins weeks in advance. The vases for Mother's day floral arrangements arrived weeks ago. The packaging and direct mail pieces were designed months ago. The outdoor garden plants were seeded locally in Boston's inner city in January. Every day from May 1st through May 11th, cut flowers will be arriving from Ecuador, Maine, New Jersey, Costa Rica, Columbia, California and Holland. We are floral importers. Every one of the fresh cut flowers in our Boston floral design studio has been hand selected and tested to exceed the needs of all our New England flower buyers and recipients.

Boston flowers from Mothers Day floristThis year (2014) entrust your Mother's Day flowers to your local Boston florist. We have been a family owned and operated florist for over 75 years. Do not leave your Mother's Day order to chance. She is too important. Flowers should not be left at a doorstop in a cardboard box. Her flowers should arrive artfully arranged and hand delivered.

Tags: Mother's Day, Family Business, Flower Deliveries

Open Letter to our Floral Colleagues - by Rick Canale

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jan 06, 2011

Rick Canale2010 has been a year of many honors and accomplishments at Exotic Flowers. Sonny Canale celebrated his 52nd year at the helm of Exotic Flowers and Lombardi Florist. We delivered over 10,000 gifts to our clients and provided jobs for more than twenty local residents.

2010 was also a year of personal accomplishment for me as well. I was invited to judge the Floral Management Marketer of the Year competition and the Outstanding Varieties Competition at the Society of American Florists (SAF) Convention. I was also asked to participate in a panel on social media at the SAF convention as well. These invitations are considered some of the highest honors in the floral industry. My exposure and contributions in these fields have also led to more invitations.

My colleagues had recently asked me to help lead the newly formed Massachusetts Professional Florists Association; to serve as a member of the SAF members committee and to serve again on a social media panel at the SAF Growth Solutions Conference in 2011.

Canale FamilyBelow is my letter of response to these invites.

" I have thought long and hard about your proposal. I am honored, flattered and grateful.
Your invitation has paid me the highest honor - the respect of my
peers... and more importantly those who I aspire to. Having grown up in the flower business, I have always known how hard it is to make a career of this business. I do my best to give back to an industry that has given me and my family so much.
Of course, everything comes back to family. At this time, I must
respectfully decline your invitation. I do not feel I can give the
commitment SAF deserves. Please know, I do not feel this is a
permanent answer. I will continue to do everything I can for the
growth of our business as a whole.

Respectfully yours,


Sonny & Rick Canale


Tags: Family Business, SAF, Rick Canale

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