When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of Hearts and Flowers in Charlottetown in mid-March, owner Alan Preston had no hope of keeping anything going. "I really thought that we'd be closed down completely," said Preston. "That first week I
laid everyone off."
In Summerside, Kelly's Flower Shoppe owner Cindy Robichaud said she felt the same way.
"Who knew anything?" said Robichaud.
"We closed down the first week as well and I laid off the staff. I call forwarded the calls to my cell phone."
For a week or two it was quiet. But then, slowly, calls began to come in. They both started doing delivery and curbside pickup. Preston recruited his wife to help, and Robichaud her husband and two teenage daughters.
Last Monday, calls started to come in for Mother's Day orders, more than a week earlier than usual. Kelly's Flower Shoppe is going full out to make the deliveries. Hearts and Flowers has hired back its delivery driver full time, and another staff member part time.
Both Robichaud and Preston have been surprised at the volume of business.