Written by Gay Smith
Dilemma: How to defrost a (floral) Neanderthal mentality
I live close to a very cool store that is part of a local chain in Portland, OR. These stores specialize in locally grown meat, poultry and produce. They offer everything from bulk flax seed and hemp massage oil to organic Air-Maui pineapples. Displays are beautifully merchandised including informative signage, product samples, origin info, no-questions refunds–the works! Yes, they offer flowers, too.
Perusing the flower display, I introduced myself and asked how they handled the flowers. Welcome to the Pleistocene Era! Buckets are not washed since “we change the water every other day, so they really don’t get dirty.” A chop ‘n drop tap-water routine best describes the processing routine “because the bouquets move so fast, treated water doesn’t matter.” When I asked if she gave flower food sachets to consumers, she replied. “No…I don’t believe they make any difference in vase life so I don’t carry them.” Finally, I asked if she would be interested in sampling Chrysal T-Bags for use in her display buckets. I handed her container of 50 (free) T-Bags, whereupon she plucked out one. Nothing I said could convince her to test a few in display buckets.
As I continued through the store, I noticed produce stockers busy filling displays while offering samples of a new orange variety. In seafood, I stared at beautifully displayed salmon fillets while customers listened to an explanation on the difference between Coho and Steelhead. In cosmetics, a clerk engaged me in a discussion about the healing effects of West African Shea butter. The deli clerk discussed the benefits of quinoa and explained that their food containers are biodegradable while offering samples of various salads. As I headed out, the floral clerk was dumping her display buckets and I swear that “clean” water looked green and nasty to me.