When it comes to flowers, Hacienda's La Petite Fleur offers the full spectrum, including Ecuadorian roses, tropical blooms, and custom arrangements for every occasion.
To owner Tom Cayford, however, the store sells much more than just flowers. Flowers are typically purchased to express an emotion, whether it's love on an anniversary or an expression of sympathy for a funeral. That creates a unique relationship between Cayford and his long-time customers.
"We've had several (customers) where we've done their junior prom corsage flowers, their senior ball flowers, and then their wedding flowers. Anniversaries and birthdays go along with it."
"The longer we're in business, the longer we're exposed to our customers and their floral needs, so to speak. We're aware of what it really means."
Tom started his first plant shop in Walnut Creek in 1977 and took on the duties of a retail florist a few years later. His brother Mike later joined him in the business, after a stint in the military.
Their secret to success is simple: "We give the customers whatever they want," says Mike.
Their biggest sellers right now are stylized, contemporary arrangements of vase flower arrangements, which are especially popular with companies in Hacienda.
"A lot of our arrangements go to the businesses here in the park," Mike explains. "We have a lot of standing orders where we deliver a vase flower arrangement to an office every Monday."
It's easy to see why that's a popular service. Fresh flowers can give an air of grace to a reception area or conference room. Hearty, tropical blooms last a long time and can look as fresh on Friday as they did on Monday.
Dish gardens and basket gardens with live plants are also popular with business clients.
"They're easy to take care of and they seem to work well in an office environment."
The store, which employs about 10 people, also specializes in custom arrangements.
"Our designer, Paula Tuggle, is one of the best we've ever had," says Mike.
Mike's favorite task, though, is to put together flowers for weddings. A wedding is a special event, one that the families involved will always remember, and it's important to him that the flowers are memorable as well, whether they're in the bride's bouquet or decorating the tables at the reception.
"I always have a really good feeling when we do a big wedding," he says. "It's great when you finish up and everything looks perfect and the couple is really excited. I get a lot of satisfaction from that."
La Petite Fleur belongs to a number of wire services, including FTD and 1-800-Flowers. The store is at 4825 Hopyard Road, Suite 14, and can be reached at (925) 463-0666. They deliver throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties as well as worldwide.
Also in this issue ...