Clover Gardens and Florist of Mt. Laurel, NJ is our flower shop of the month in Pennock Floral Tri-State. We interviewed Paula Brandimarte, owner of Clover Gardens and Florist.
It was really nice talking with her. We talked about her shop, the floral industry and her personal flower preferences.
How did you get started in this industry?
My grandmother (Rose Garden Flower Shop) has been in business since 1929, so I grew up in a flower shop. Clover Gardens and Florist was established in 1946 and I purchased it in 2007 from the original owner. I decided to keep the original name because of the reputation.
What tools do you use to help you stay competitive in this market place?
We don’t really market ourselves, we have a strong following of repeat customers, we offer fare prices, and we’re comfortable assisting customers with meeting their price points. We fully understand that customers are more conscience about their spending, and we have Wegmans to compete with, which changes the dynamic of our industry.
The supermarkets make it easier for the consumer to grocery shop and grab a bunch of flowers at the same time. They are not only offering everyday flowers even the centerpieces! They do the holidays, they do weddings, I don’t know do they do funerals or not? As far as getting people in here, its word of mouth, we do advertise but not crazy.
How did you make the decision to stay open 7 days a week?
It’s always been like that, I just decided to keep it. In the winter it’s not very busy on Sundays, but we have so much work to catch up on; bookwork, cleaning up, caring for our flowers. We have a landscaping service and greenhouse center that keep us busy. In addition to those services we also offer an interior landscape service in the area and all the way down to Cape May.
Plant and Citrus kumquat “Nagami”
What is your favorite color combination right now?
Name the top 3 to 5 floral design supplies or products that you just can’t live/work without?
Oasis rose vases, leaf shine, picks and aquaplus are essential to my shop.
What do you think about the flower business in general?
It’s falling down. The flower business now is not what it used to be. This past summer was horrendous. It’s hard, especially when you can go to a supermarket, get flowers and a meal for the dinner – everything in one shot. It’s a struggle and it’s hard being an independent floral shop. We experience a lot of peaks and valleys.
Paula Brandimarte, owner of Clover Gardens and Florist and Marty Galvani, Salesman, Pennock Floral Tri-States.