Contactless flower delivery ensuring Mother’s Day smiles despite outbreak


Jenna Hanson, Staff Writer

May 10, 2020: Mother’s Day. The most important holiday for every mom. Most receive gifts, cards, and ever flowers. However, with most shops closed to in-person shoppers through the month of May, grabbing those last-minute gifts becomes very challenging. lower shops are adjusting to the COVID-19 outbreak with contactless delivery and over-the-phone ordering. 

Understanding the importance of social distancing, shops are now offering delivery without ever being near a delivery person. Not only does this engage the importance of the holiday, but it keeps businesses running. After voluntarily shutting down since before the set order, some businesses are yearning for some kind of income. While most flower shops are small businesses passed from generation to generation, many larger companies like 1-800Flowers, for example, are finding their sales rising by 18% according to their company website, since the negative decline in Covid-19 cases. The rise in sales comes from customers ordering online or over the phone for birthdays, sympathy, and funerals. 

On the other hand, mom and pop companies like Saville Flowers in Evanston, Ill, are opening their doors to orders because of the lack of sales. After Don Saville opened the shop in 1942, flowers have been the family’s main focus. 

Main owner Mark Jones said, In our hectic and overworked lives, I hope to inspire moments of beauty, grace and reflection in appreciating the awesome beauty of a flower, Jones said. “That is my meaning and my purpose.”

As the great-grandson of the original owner, Jones aspires to carry on the tradition that was once instilled by Saville. After building a positive relationship within the Chicagoland area, Saville Flowers offers many home decor items and custom bouquets for any occasion. Their best-known products are bouquets of unique flowers with unusual blooms to add texture. 

“Normally there are high sales at this time due to graduations, weddings, and Mother’s Day, but without those, we are keeping an open mind to how many orders to expect,” said Sara Kokes, a Saville Flowers employee. 

With the absence of major events that commemorate the start or end of something, flower sales are slowing declining by 50% for Saville Flowers due to a lack of customer knowledge they are open. With a history in having people stop in and choose by hand which flowers to include, Saville Flowers quickly opened their doors to contactless delivery. However, a minimum of $35 must be placed along with a $10 local delivery fee. 

“Our plan is to have drivers wear gloves when delivering and returning to the van before calling the customer. Most importantly, drivers wait to physically see them pick it up from their porch rather than hoping it is in the right hands,” Kokes said.  

Saville Flowers has taken many thought paths when determining how to avoid contact while delivering. Halsted Flowers has thought of the same things. 

“We have our drivers drop off the flowers, step back 10 to 20 feet, call the person receiving the order and wait for the person to pick it up,” said owner, Geneva Curren. 

Curren has a past with flower shops in Washington D.C., New York City, and operating three shops across Arkansas and Chicago. Her knowledge of flowers stems from her childhood in visiting her family in the South where she would spend hours and hours picking wildflowers.

While the company’s main objective of creating designs that inspire and bring joy to the recipients, the employees are trained to help with selecting the best flowers for you. 

Under this circumstance, Curren said, “Working as a florist has been wonderful, challenging, exhausting, inspiring, hectic, fun, maddening, and fantastic!” 

Orders as of right now are piling in for Curren and her staff, causing everyone to feel overwhelmed. As it is described as part of the job as a florist, understanding customers mean well and only want to stay local. With a minimum of $75 for fresh arrangements and $40 for plant deliveries, Halsted Flowers plans to make multiple rounds a day for their customers. 

Even though hours of operation are limited each day, the employees are finding themselves working around the clock in order to finish their customer’s requests. Delivery drivers are out until late in the night and up early in the morning to make their rounds and to clear out the shop to make room for more orders. 

Saville Flowers: 

Phone: (847)864-0632

Halsted Flowers: 

Phone: (773)883-8600