When you think of beautiful flowers in a wedding bouquet, anniversary arrangement or even as a single stem, you’re usually envisioning them at their peak. Full, open roses, luscious lilies and delightful dahlias dance in your head. When you walk into our shop, the front cooler is full of blooms all ready for a custom arrangement. Bridal bouquets and centerpieces arrive on the wedding day, picture perfect.

Are we magic? Well, kind of. Meet the Belle Fiori processing team!

Mary Nolan has been tending the flowers since Valentine’s week of 2014, where she got to help strip 3000 roses on her first day at Belle Fiori. She is really good at this now. The best part of processing for her is seeing the various wedding color palettes come together. Her favorite flowers are Anemone and scented Geranium.

Cecilia Zea started as an intern last January and is now at Belle Fiori full-time, processing and designing. Her specialty? Keeping the front and back coolers clean and organized which is important for healthy, happy flowers. Her favorite part of processing? “Life is like a box of flowers, you never know what you are going to get.” Cecilia’s favorite flowers are anything from Windswept Acres (our local source for specialty, seasonal flowers.)

Tama Roberts and Sarah Vulcano round out the team part-time. Being newer additions to the store, they are still in awe of everything that comes in.

What exactly is processing?

Flowers need a little love when they arrive at our shop. Several times a week we receive large quantities of flowers for the shop, events and weddings. These are often flown in from California, Holland and South America. Boxes of flowers fill the back of the shop, more bundles fill the sinks and buckets. Most of the flowers are closed up and could really use a drink. Now it’s time for our processers to work their magic.

Roses need to be de-thorned (gloves are highly recommended). Hydrangeas need a sharp cut with a knife. Snapdragons and stock need to go into the cooler immediately, Alstromaria and Godetia like to sit out awhile. Lilies “need space”. Dahlias are the divas of the flower world, and are very fussy about temperature. Also, not too much flower food, please. And sometimes, on very special days, we get baby pink pineapples and the whole shop is giddy with excitement!

New flowers are given a fresh cut, sorted into buckets of water and labeled for each wedding and event. The flowers are checked daily to see how they are coming along, as we want them at their best for the big day. This sometimes requires a bit more love (Dahlias again) but the result is worth it.

So, the next time you stop in, say hello to our hard working processing team. Our flowers are healthy and happy because of them!