TODAY’S NOTABLE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS: RAPHI ARONOWICZ AND MICHAEL SMAYE

TODAY’S NOTABLE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS: RAPHI ARONOWICZ AND MICHAEL SMAYE

Raphi Aronowicz and Michael Smaye were high school best friends who started a floral delivery business together after both having less-than-stellar experiences sending flowers. Aronowicz and Smaye identified an opportunity to improve on the delivery

aspect of the floral business, and then took the jump from full-time employment in finance and hospitality to entrepreneurship, and Tonic Blooms.

Today, Tonic Blooms offers a focused, online-only selection of floral arrangements. Being online-only allows Tonic Blooms to minimize waste and incur minimal overhead charges, which directly translates to savings for customers — floral arrangements are less expensive when the florist doesn’t have to pay for a full-time staff and high rent.

Describe Tonic Blooms
We offer Toronto flower delivery within two hours. Our curated, affordable selection makes sending and receiving flowers convenient and fun!

What was the inspiration for your career route?
Raphi: The flower business was never on our radar. We both had enough awful experiences sending flowers here and just thought there had to be a better way. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial drive and after sharing my experience with others, quickly realized that this could be an opportunity worth pursuing. We spent a lot of time researching the flower industry and believed that by changing the outdated business model and controlling every aspect of the delivery process, we could offer a high quality, convenient and reliable service people could depend on.

Michael: While we were testing our concept, it was still a side gig – Raphi was a portfolio manager and I was working in the hospitality industry. I was skeptical when he approached me with the idea but after doing the preliminary research, I was convinced. Shortly after we were taking orders via text and delivering bouquets by bike ourselves.

Raphi: Feedback has been amazing and we’ve now been pushed into the events space by our customers. It’s incredibly rewarding to receive a phone call from a customer asking us to be their wedding florist.

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