Poinsettia Plants On Sale

We’re offering a 20% discount on orders of 5 or more poinsettia plants going to the same address.

The promo code is “poinsettia20.”

All a customer has to do is enter the code during checkout online or when placing an order by phone or fax.

Offer ends December 26th 2015.

Holiday Floral Arrangements


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It’s getting to that time of year when poinsettias were normally the king of holiday floral products.

While poinsettias have become commonplace and ubiquitous, there is still a market niche for us to fill.

While we are not able to compete with the mass merchandisers on price, we can provide a better product–as we do with orchid plants.

Every plant we deliver comes from a trusted source and is fresh and lasting.

No poinsettia goes out the door without being dressed properly–in as simple or decorative basket, bow and moss.

Other accouterments such as branches and Christmas green can be added to make the presentation even more festive.

Since holiday decorating will be starting around late Thanksgiving this year, we now carry all appropriate poinsettia products at uniform prices starting this week.

We would offer a 10% discount on orders of 4 or more poinsettias to a single address. Call us for that discount


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CitiFloral celebrates the 45th annual New York City Marathon this Sunday.

The other big event, besides Halloween,this weekend here in New York–this Sunday, Nov. 1–is the Road Runners 45th annual New York City Marathon–the world’s iconic foot race.

Marathon Madness will take over the city–and during, before and after the race many roads will be closed to traffic.

New York City Marathon

New York City Marathon

Because the stretch run of the race is on First Avenue–one block from our store–almost all daytime deliveries in Manhattan will be impossible to make.
Our official hours this Sunday will be 8-11 am–prior to the time the runners pass us.
Same-day delivery service will not be available this Sunday as a result.
And, there will be no time guarantees for any advance orders placed for Sunday delivery.

To mark the Marathon celebration, we have created a “running shoe garden”.

The design was inspired by a novel request we received from a customer many years ago for many years ago for a fresh arrangement in a running shoe.

It was such a cute idea that we thought we’d bring it back to life again this time around.
Good luck to all the runners!

Response to an online reviewer

Online Reviews are everywhere and we respond to them when we can. We have great ones and we have some not so great ones. Even we have a bad day or a misunderstanding. But sometimes a reviewer says something that just needs to be set straight not just for us, but for all of the small flower shops in New York.
In August we had a review that claimed the single rose they purchased was overpriced considering you could buy flowers so cheaply in grocer stores.
Here is our response.
“We have built our business during the last three decades with great lasting success based on our desire to provide exceptional flowers and customer service. So, it is with great sorrow that we read your tale of woes. We at CitiFloral pride ourselves on our commitment to a level of fair dealing with customers that we, as consumers, hope than any business would provide. We offer a no-holds-barred customer guarantee of quality, elegance, value, service and freshness.

In the rare instance of customer dissatisfaction, we take all steps needed to remedy the situation. So, let me start off by saying that the issues raised in this commentary would have been dealt with if they had been addressed to us directly at any time. Having read the review, we will take immediate steps to remedy any shortfalls we may have been guilty of.

We are very proud of the extensive selection of fresh flowers–including roses–that we offer at all times. In fact, people are often surprised that we carry just about every flower your heart might desire in such a diminutive flower shop. Our flowers are carefully selected and maintained. Any stems that have matured so they no longer meet our standards of quality and freshness are removed from our stock of flowers suitable for sale or use.

These unwanted flowers do not go wanting, though. They are included in the complimentary daily offerings placed in front of our store for neighbors and passersby to take to beautify their lives and homes. A CitiFloral tradition of good will since 9/11.

Michael: I’m very sorry if you felt as though you were being taken advantage of during your experience with us. We pride ourselves on our honesty and fairness—and you made some serious charges that called our virtuousness into question. I can assure you that we would never sell any flowers to a customer that we wouldn’t give to our own loved ones. Our roses are of the highest quality available to us. And we always maintain a fresh stock of many popular colors. In fact, our loyal customers will not buy their roses from anyone else because they know our flowers retain their beauty longer.

The roses you see at neighborhood delis are of a considerably lower grade than what we or any other full-service florist would carry. Their roses do not last long—and they are not tall or pretty. Yes, you can get all of two dozen for your $10 if your goal is a cheap price. You should know that the deli workers peel their roses back at night so the roses look fresh to the unwary consumer. We do not peel any outer petals until we remove them for use. When we do, this is just a standard industry procedure to remove outer rose petals normally damaged during shipping. That is not an indication that roses are old or “half dead.” If you feel that $6 a rose is beyond your budget, we are indeed sorry not to have fulfilled your price expectations. We can assure you that this is an average price charged by full-service quality Manhattan florists.

Contrary to the feeling that obviously motivated you to publish this review—if you got to know us as well as our longer-term, loyal customers—you would see that we strive to be fair, honest and transparent in our dealings with customers. In fact, we are the only florist that charges no service fee or regular delivery charge on any of our internet products. We consider it our moral obligation to avoid tacking on any hidden charges—as most competitors do. We’re truly sorry that your $6 purchase if a single rose caused so much consternation. We in no way intended to give you anything other than a quality product at a fair price. If you have any questions or issues you’d like me to address or to further discuss your experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Best, Jeff, Owner

Are you following us on Facebook?

We have been on Facebook for some time now. If you are following us you know we offer special deals to our Facebook friends. Right now we have a coupon good for 15% off any product on our site. Of course you would know this if you followed us on Facebook…..just saying.
https://www.facebook.com/citifloral
facebook

What are your short-term growth plans….?

Question 5.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term growth plans for the business? How will this grant contribute to your plan?

Our objectives in the short and long term are congruent. Our business was more robust and effective when we our sales were consistent and growing. We could make more concrete plans for our future and better absorb costs inherent in proper functioning of the business. At that time, a large part of our sales were through the internet–which produce substantial cash flow to sustain the working capital of our business. In the short term, we would like to rebuild our 2 dormant websites and increase our internet marketing budget to increase our internet sales. We would also plan to replace at least one of our vehicles to reduce our related costs. As a result of the reduced sales we have experienced in recent years, we had to increase our indebtedness to maintain the standards set for our business, a creditworthy record that has satisfied our suppliers, and compensation necessary to retain our loyal, experienced staff. Accordingly, we anticipate reducing some of our indebtedness. Our objective for sales growth is for at least 10% in the coming year–with higher future growth dependent on the momentum generated from the achievement of goals that we can attain with infusion of the grant.

2nd annual Gay Pride Brunch here at SOB’s

sobWe were happy this year to be a part of the 2nd annual Gay Pride Brunch at SOB’s. Located in the Heart of the Village where it all began just steps from the parade route: SOB’s celebrates another year of pride here in the city. Our P.R.I.D.E. motto (Pure Resilience Igniting Daily Empowerment) Brunch is a platform highlighting 10 individuals of the LGBT community who have made contributions to music, film, fashion, and entertainment industries by helping create awareness on a daily basis on the issues we face as a community. This event is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 28, 2015, from 12 Noon-5pm. It is our hope of celebrating other LGBT business owners and brands by securing donations for this event. sob2

What would a $100,000 grant…?

Question 4 What would a $100,000 grant mean to your business and how will you utilize the funds? Please be as specific as possible.

The $100,000 grant would be a blessing to our business, which has struggled through hard times–especially five years ago, when our florist-in-chief Jeff Gaster suffered a traumatic brain injury during a robbery in our store and CitiFloral was without him for 7 months. Our sales volume–which had peaked in 2008–declined precipitously, and we have been feverishly working to restore the business activity that established us as one of the premier florists in New York. While we have used our limited resources to establish a strong social media presence, we have been unable to conduct a more expensive marketing campaign to reestablish an internet sales volume that would once again generate the cash flow necessary for us to properly support our expenses. We completely rebuilt our main website (citifloral.net) last year–and we still maintain 4 others–but had to temporarily abandon our 2 specialty sites–which we would like to rebuild if funds are available. We recently renovated the interior of our store while our landlord modernized our show window and the face of our building. But, we have two veteran delivery vans that require considerable maintenance costs to be reliable 7 days–but which we could reduce with a new vehicle.

How is your business involved with the community you serve?

Question 3. How is your business involved with the community you serve? Examples include: giving back to the community, sourcing locally, and/or contributing to economic development via hiring.

The owners and staff of CitiFloral have always taken an active role in the close-knit local community of Yorkville–getting to know and be known to local residents and business people–having established a deep-seated rapport after 29 years of business (and Jeff Gaster’s 38 years of residence here). Jeff has been a supporter and participant in many community organizations–most notably with groups that have coalesced against the construction of a garbage transfer station. Jeff is also the local notary public to whom locals turn for his services and advice. CitiFloral is best known in our neighborhood for its Share Our Bounty of Flowers program. Started after 9/11 with the generosity of Australians seeking a way to comfort New Yorkers, CitiFloral gives away buckets full of flowers that are past their prime to passersby who anxiously claim their selections to beautify their homes. It’s a great program for those who cannot afford to buy the flowers they deserve to have, for the flowers to have a home, and for us to contribute beauty and kindness to our neighbors. Even before 9/11, our culture of sharing was featured on WCBS Radio for our giving away roses on Good Neighbor Day.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? …

Question 2. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Describe both your greatest achievements and biggest challenges.

I started my professional life in New York–after graduating from Harvard Law School–as a corporate and business attorney at a large law firm. Simultaneously, I maintained my lifelong intrigue with business–having pursued this at Penn’s Wharton School. While a lawyer, I invested in some enterprises I didn’t control with mixed results. I decided it would better to use my money in a business in which I participated. A friend who was a lifelong florist and I discussed contributing our complementary talents into a new flower shop. We looked for a location–found one right down the street where I lived–and we signed a lease for a store that had housed a florist. In a couple of weeks, we were the proud owners of a new florist in centrally located Yorkville. Initially not intending to make floristry my life’s career, I was soon drawn into the everyday workings of the flower shop. Every moment since then has been an inexperience of learning on the job–dealing with and overcoming the immense challenges that even a small, complex business presents. But, serving people’s needs and engaging with some of finest people you’d ever want to meet has made this a venture of love.