MILWAUKEE - We have seen several supply shortages throughout the coronavirus pandemic, from toilet paper to coins and sanitizing wipes. Flower shops are dealing with flower shortages just days before Mother's Day.
On a gray, gloomy morning, colorful arrangements brightened Chet and Leona's Floral Shop on Milwaukee's south side.
"Flowers are fun," said Karen Korene.
Ahead of a holiday, phone calls and fulfilling orders brought joy.
"Let’s put it this way," said Korene. "Valentine’s Day they always think is a busy holiday, but everybody has a mother."
The long-standing shop survived a difficult year.
"We were closed for six weeks," said Karen Gruettner. "2020 was the worst year that I have been through."
2021 brought new challenges.
"There is a worldwide shortage of flowers right now," said Gruettner. "People want orchids. They’re not available. Gardenias, they’re not available."
"One weather is a big thing, and last year, due to COVID, they weren’t planting as much," said Tanya Gruettner. "They’re not prepared for this year."
"We have to use our imagination to make it look beautiful without it," said Gruettner.
With weddings and other large events more likely this summer, they hope business flourishes.