MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just like his grandfather, Tom Johnson has found a love for big bouquets.

He wanted to be a veterinarian then a pilot, but instead he settled on delivering smiles across the Twin Cities.

“I actually do take the time when I walk through the cooler to smell the roses,” A. Johnson & Sons Owner, Tom Johnson, said.

And that’s exactly what Johnson gets to do so bright and early every morning, especially the week of Valentine’s Day.

Johnson’s family has been doing doorstep deliveries for nearly eight decades.

“When you’re a flower man, I tell the drivers when they first start, you’re making someone’s day,” Johnson said. “You see the expression one someone’s face, like ‘Wow.'”

The business opened during the depression and survived to become a staple along St. Paul’s Grand Avenue.

“My grandfather, Aaron, started this business in 1936 in the same location,” Johnson said.

As the busiest bouquet week of the year comes into full bloom, the floral shop is prepping hard for a big push.

According to the National Retail Federation, 38 percent of consumers who splurge on Valentine’s Day buy flowers. The average price people spend on bouquets, $41, and men spend about four dollars more on bouquets than women.

Krista Salmess is one of 100 employees pitching in to make sure all the arrangements look just right at the St. Paul shop. Rather than roses, she recommends replacing the obvious choice with something a little steamier.

“I like creating the tropical arrangements with all the different types of tropical flower that come in,” Salmess said. “Bird-of-paradise, orchids, anthurium, and protea.”

If the taste of the beach isn’t your thing, that’s ok. Johnson said the real key is remembering.

“Don’t forget to get something for Valentine’s Day. Do not forget the day at all,” Johnson said.

Ali Lucia

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