Magnolia Wholesale Florist hits busiest time of the year

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Today was going to be Brock Bishop’s busiest day of the year.
Turns out, it’s probably going to be even busier.
The president of Magnolia Wholesale Florist, Bishop and his crew were already expecting a hectic day delivering flowers to scores of retail customers across the region.
But with the snow and ice on the roads keeping him and most of his employees out Thursday, today will be even more intense.
“The retailers will want their flowers as fresh as possible for Valentine’s Day,” Bishop said Wednesday before the snow started falling.
Valentine’s Day is Monday, and florists will be open all weekend to accommodate shoppers.
To accommodate the florists to whom Magnolia sells, Bishop will be open throughout the weekend.
And Magnolia, which delivers to retail flower shops in a 100-mile radius of Tupelo, has plenty of petals.
“We’ve got 23,000 roses, red and colored,” Bishop said. “We’ve also got cut arrangements. The gerberas are also selling well.”
Bishop placed his first order of flowers in early December to lock in lower prices, then placed the final order early last month to ensure on-time delivery for Valentine’s Day.
Magnolia has been getting shipments all week, with more expected through the weekend. The flowers come from Ecuador, Colombia and California.
Once they reach port, they’re delivered by truck to Tupelo, where they’re processed and shipped out to Magnolia’s customers.
“We’ve got six drivers and six trucks running,” he said.
Bishop thinks this Valentine’s Day will shape up to be a good one. The recession has hit the floral industry, and he admitted his business wasn’t immune.
“But the good thing that came out of it was that we’re getting better-quality flowers,” he said. “They’re also bigger, it seems.”
Bishop is anticipating a busy weekend, and his employees will be on the run until early Monday.
“We’ll be delivering and taking orders all weekend, but by about 10 a.m. on Monday, it’ll slow to a trickle,” he said. “If they didn’t order or get the flowers by then, it’s probably a little too late.”

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@journalinc.com.