Szamotuły, Otorowo, Kaźmierz, Duszniki these are the places where Anna Czekała opened her florist’s shops called Brzozowy Zakątek. She had already trusted us twice, equipping her shops with our flower refrigerator. Anna is an optimist who inspires with her approach to developing the company, and we proudly share her story about running a thriving business.
How long have you been working in floristry?
It has been 3 years since we opened our first florist shop on November 13th. One and a half years later, we opened a second location, and a third one in September 2021. We are looking forward to our new, fourth location from January 10, 2022. While the opening of the first florist's shop can be described as a "lucky accident", the customers themselves mobilized us for the second.
I took over the third florist's shop after a lady who wanted to give this place to someone who would take care of it. The fourth is very similar - a nice lady who wanted to change her life, met us and trusted us.
Unfortunately, the pandemic thwarted the plans of many entrepreneurs.
You, in turn, managed to dynamically develop the business. Has the pandemic changed anything at all in your work?
We started just before the pandemic, so for the first dozen or so months we developed our business normally. Disturbing news reached us, fear alternated somewhere with uncertainty about the future. At the time of the decision to lockdown, we planned to open our second shop. We had to postpone it, and our first shop had to be closed overnight, because it is located in the shopping arcade. It was a big blow.
Contrary to appearances, the pandemic made our work very difficult, it cut our wings. Despite the difficult situation, customers continued to call us and ask for flowers. As much as we could, we mobilized ourselves to work hard and open a second shop that could function despite the restrictions. Today, I can say that customers have changed dramatically. Fortunately, regular customers keep coming back, but acquiring new ones is now very, very difficult. Rising prices worsen the situation. It is not easy, even if it seems that we are operating at full speed, but we do not give up because we know, that it is our passion and way of life.
Why did you decide to buy a cooler for flowers?
I was looking for a solution that would help me reduce losses. Our first shop is in an open-air shopping mall. The temperature and surrounding conditions are regulated by an air-conditioning system that is common to the entire facility. We kept the flowers on stands, in vases with nutrient solution. I did everything in accordance with what I learned during the trainings. Despite our best efforts, we still had losses. We throw away a lot, especially the roses. I would like to add that I always import a very resistant variety of roses that does quite well without a cold store. However, if the flowers came from the Netherlands or Ecuador, it turned out that the next day they were not suitable for sale, despite careful preparation.
Another argument that spoke for the refrigerator was the florist's floor area, which is less than 19 m2, so a separate cold store was not an option. At night, we locked everything behind the blinds, which completely blocked the air circulation. The place was new, so we also had to attract customers and build their trust. It all meant that I had to look for a solution.
I don't remember exactly how it happened that I found the flower refrigerator. I think I saw a Facebook post, looked for RAPA and called you guys directly. We bought the first device with co-financing under the anti-crisis shield.
Did you have any doubts about the necessity to have a refrigerator? Did anything stop you from buying a flower cooler?
I had no doubts. My husband read the reviews and looked for information, but he didn't have to convince me. I found that since the company produces professional devices, it can be trusted. Maybe it's crazy, but I always have to check the device myself to form my opinion. I organized everything myself. When I was picked up, I was also alone, and four strong boys were enough to carry her to the final destination. I admit that the delivery of the first refrigerator was technically quite problematic. Fortunately, the second time it went much faster.
Are you satisfied with the device? How do the flowers stored in the refrigerator behave?
I am very pleased with both devices we have. We used to have to throw out flowers every day. Now, when I buy closed carnations on Tuesday, they last up to a week in the refrigerator. Of course, we change the water and use conditioners.
Apart from cloves, we store roses, gerberas, alstroemerias and green accessories in the refrigerator. At the end of the day, we put everything that is left after the whole day inside for the night.
Do customers give up their purchase when they see flowers in a cold store or behind glass?
On the contrary, the customers laugh that we "freeze the flowers", but in such a good way. Anyway, in our second shop, in Kaźmierz, the refrigerator fits into the decor so well that customers do not immediately notice it. Inside, we have wood and black accessories, so everything fits together perfectly.
Customers respond very well to the device. Sometimes they point out that we have a small selection despite the refrigerator full of flowers of different colours, but for me the quality, i.e. the freshness of the flowers, is much more important than the variety. I know that from what I have I can create dozens of beautiful compositions that will be permanent.
What temperature did you set in the refrigerator?
The one is set to 9°C, the second to 10°C or 11°C.
Do you care for the device in any particular way?
We wash the whole refrigerator "from A to Z" once a week. Of course, we clean the glass every day, because there is always something visible on them, and children are often fascinated by seeing flowers closely. As for flowers, we regularly change the water in the vases, wash them, trim the flowers and put them in clean vases with water and nutrient solution. Such work with flowers in the device takes about 2 hours for one person. We use glass vases because they look beautiful in the light that the refrigerator has.
I wholeheartedly recommend RAPA for its professionalism and great approach to the customer, listening to any suggestions and for the fast delivery time.
P.S. I am thinking intensely about buying a third refrigerator for the fourth shop :-)
A flower refrigerator can be purchased in as many as 6 different sizes and 2 colour variants. The set with the device includes 2 platforms adapted to the device (in 3 different heights to choose from). More information can be found on the product page.
The photos come from the Brzozowy Zakątek Flower Shop in Kaźmierz.