So, tell us how long you’ve been working for DVFlora:
My journey working for DVFlora started over 26 years ago as a young lad in the Operations Department, offloading and receiving inbound shipments.
Describe a day in the life of Tony:
Let me start off by saying that that my days are never the same. Each day is a new adventure and no one knows where things will end up when the day is over. It might start out something like this… (1) check and make sure all inbound shipments have arrived and all orders are allocated. (2) Buy any last minute products for orders the same week, could be a purchase from Holland or Miami for anything from roses to hydrangea or possibly “green” products. Any specialty item could be a drop ship directly to a customer’s door if we could not get it on one of our shipments coming in from various locations throughout the world. (3) Put out fires (yup, we all have them).
Once everything has settled and all issues are resolved, I start making customer purchases for upcoming events. What will normally happen is while trying to make my buys any one of the following could pop up; a customer needs a last minute item, a sales rep needs a quote on an order, or one of my favorite scenarios, a large event will come over from a customer like David Beahm. Once that happens I need to start working on those jobs immediately. Some events could take place anywhere in the World, so not only am I securing the product, we are also working on logistics options for them. A good example is we recently fulfilled an order for David in Orlando, Florida. We have an upcoming event in LA for him as well. A big part of my role is figuring out the best way to source each item the customer is looking for and make sure they get it where they need it, while keeping their budget in mind. Of course all of this done as part of a team effort with a lot of help coming from a trained and professional Sales Associate who is assigned to each account.
What fascinates you most about being a Buyer for the DVFlora Event customers?
I would say the most fascinating thing as the Procurement Manager for the Events segment would be the amount of flowers that are used for events. It could be a huge rose order, 2,000 stems of hydrangea, an assortment of high end novelty items for one specific job, or some rather obscure item that a client like Holly Chapple is looking for. We procured the order for a HUGE event in 2017 were the church flowers alone ended up totaling 5,000 stems of white spray roses and 6,000 stems of white snowberry. WOW, what a job that was!
”Japanese flowers are some of the most AMAZING flowers I’ve ever seen!!!
I could talk about them all day long!
What is it like to coordinate a large order for a destination event?
Destination Events are another service we provide to our event customers, These orders can range from a small job in California to massive jobs in Switzerland or Africa. For a destination event, the logistics are always much different than a DVFlora “local” delivery. Our team plans out the logistics and in some cases we need to change these at the last minute, which is where things can get pretty exciting. We always try to do exactly what the customer needs and we certainly “jump through hoops” to make that happen.
If you could tell a farm to grow more of something, what would that one item be?
One of the more challenging items for wedding season are cream roses. In years past, it was Sahara but now that item has shifted to Quicksand. If we could have more of those for wedding season that would be fantastic. The demand is not there for those specific roses on a year round basis, which means they are very limited during wedding season.
If there’s one flower you buy that you think should be more popular in the event world, what would it be?
One item I love is the AMAZING Japanese Lisianthus. We are seeing this item increase in demand, but I still think there is huge potential for them to expand to much greater levels. It’s one of those “you have to see to believe” items!
We heard you also buy the Japanese flowers for DVFlora. Can you tell us what their growing secret is?
Japanese flowers are some of the most AMAZING flowers I’ve ever seen!!! I could talk about them all day long! In 2010 we started to carry the Japanese products but due to the perceived extremely high prices we were very limited in what we would speculate on for inventory. We then started to slowly introduced more and more of our customers to the different product lines and got a great response. Fast forward to today and we are one of the largest importers of Japanese flowers into the US. If you do not know about the Japanese flowers, they are typically very HIGH end flowers. They tend to be more expensive than the rest of the world, but now our customers are beginning to seeing the true value in the uniqueness of the difference selections. Sweet peas for example are just truly amazing. At the height of the season they are all 50 – 60cm tall and there are over 200 different varieties from Japan, of which I get to purchase approximately 50 varieties on a weekly basis for our DVFlora open market inventory.
Did you say 50 different varieties of sweet peas?!?!
YES, 50 varieties…that is what we stock weekly, but keep in mind there are over 200 varieties grown. My favorite is peach DREAM!
Someone told us you have 5 BOYS!!! Your hands must be full.
Yes, that is correct, I have 5 of the most amazing and handsome boys. Their ages range from 23 to 3 years old. My oldest, Tony, is about to get married this year and we are super excited for him and his fiancé Kim. Does that mean I will be a pop-pop soon? Only time will tell.
My little boys, Bryce and Blake, love when their older brothers, Tony, Dominic and John are around. My older boys have always been involved in sports and now Bryce is starting to get involved and Blake is soon to follow. I always enjoyed watching the boys compete, whether it was baseball, basketball, soccer, or hockey and now I get to do it all over again!
Ok, round-robin time: Favorite musician? Favorite food? Favorite place to travel?
My favorite musician… wow that is really hard! I don’t just like one musician or type of music. I prefer country music these days but I grew up loving heavy metal and rock music. My favorite food for something quick is pizza. Steak for sure would be my favorite meal, a nice filet mignon. My favorite place to travel would be anywhere I have never been. I love to see new places and learn about them!
Anemone: December – April
Asplenium Crispy Wave: Year round (with minor gaps)
Astilbe: November – June
Cosmos: October – April
Gentiana: June – October
Grammatophyllum (summer orchid): May – August
Gloriosa: Year round
Lisianthus: Year round
Leucocornye: November – March
Lindera citriodora aomoji: November – March
Tree Peony: End of December – April
Peony: April – May
Ranunculus: Mid December – April
Roses and sprays: Year round
Scabiosa: November – May
Spirea: End of December – March
Sweet Pea: December – April
Tweedia: Year round