Last month, Society of American Florists' (SAF) Board member Chris Drummond of Plaza Florist in Norristown, PA, proposed a road trip you couldn't refuse if you were a baseball fan and a florist (more common than you think). So after the SAF Board meeting last week, Chris, fellow SAF Board member David Boulton of Flowers by George in Arlington, WA and my family trekked to the city of brotherly love to tour a few SAF member Philadelphia-area flower shops and catch the Phillies take on the Nationals (Expos South to me). Click on the pics or links to access the photo galleries of each visit.
But before any shop stops, our first order of business was lunch. And what better way to celebrate my first ever visit to Philly but with a cheesesteak at Dallesandros - click here for a debate on the best steak in Philly, cause I won't go there since this was my first. As I munched, I had an epiphany as to the secret of what makes an authentic Philly steak. As you'll see in the pic, they finely chop the meat. Recall steaks you've had outside of Philly that had meat layered? Exactly. Delicious!
Our first stop was Penny's Flowers in Glenside, PA. Greeting us at the door was Dottie Pannepacker and her husband Bob Pannepacker. Their shop is nestled in a charming village setting (Keswick Village) - awesome for walk-in sales. Despite road resurfacing, Penny's was still busy with customers. A real cool feature was the mini-garden center they have on the sidewalk. Do they pack it away in the evening you ask? Not at all. They promote the honor system to pedestrians wanting to make a purchase after hours by accepting envelopes filled with payment in a slot on the front door. Here's the full photo gallery of Penny's Flowers.
Next up was Kremp Florist in Willow Grove, PA. Much thanks to the Kremp family - Chad, Drew and Scott -- for showing us around even as they were swapping out their computer system and handling customers for Prom night! To sum it up, Kremp Florist is an impressively huge operation featuring a great showroom floor. I was particularly awestruck by their massive warehouse where they store all the party rentals. Here's the full photo gallery of Kremp Florist.
Our final shop tour was Chris' Plaza Florist in Norristown, PA. Although Plaza's address says Norristown, his shop is actually on the border of the city of Audubon, PA. Plaza is ideally located on one of the busiest intersections of the city with ample parking for customers. Plaza is also an impressively large operation housing not only a full service florist open seven days a week but a growing corporate giftware business in the cellar warehouse. Walking through Plaza, you get the feel of a great work flow from the area where packed flowers are processed, designed and finally to where they are finally put on trucks for delivery. Here's the full photo gallery of the Plaza Florist tour.
Once again many thanks to Chris for being a most gracious host scoring David and my family great accommodations in Audubon and awesome Hall of Fame level seats at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies game. Sorry no pics of the game, we were officially off the clock and enjoying a great evening of baseball – despite the National’s 5-4 defeat. Oh, I’d confirm it was brotherly treatment from Philly fans considering I was proudly wearing a visiting National jersey. Go Expos!