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St. John’s business owners navigate Valentine’s Day storm

["Downtown is pretty quiet this morning in St. John's as the blizzard hits."]
["Downtown is pretty quiet this morning in St. John's as the blizzard hits."]

It’s Valentine’s Day, and businesses that are usually hopping are having to adjust their game plan as a blizzard dumps snow on the Atlantic provinces.

In St. John’s, folks with appointment at spas, reservations at restaurants and orders with florists may need to adjust their plans, too. Those hoping to pick up a gift at the Avalon Mall are out of luck as it is closed for the day. Even love letters scheduled to arrive today will be delayed, as Canada Post halts delivery on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista peninsulas.

But a number of businesses in the metro region are determined hard to cater to Valentine’s Day sweethearts. Bob Hallett of Tavola said around noon on Tuesday that staff at his downtown St. John’s restaurant had been working hard and they were planning to open.

“We made a big effort to restock yesterday and do some prep, just in case, so we are ready to go,” he told The Telegram. “Our pioneering staff are coming in early in the afternoon. While there will probably be cancellations, a couple of diners have also called to make sure we are opening.

“On the upside, there is lots of parking!”

Newfoundland Chocolate Co. planned to stay open until 4 p.m., writing on its Facebook page: “Brent and Christina are spending their Valentine’s Day together serving customers at our Duckworth Street location! Our store is open for those intrepid romantics who want to strap on their snowshoes and stop down to our downtown location.”

Rock Paper Flowers was also ready for romance. The florist tweeted a photo of its “Open” sign, saying “Seriously? Yes! Come get your gorgeous flowers. Call ahead for curbside pickup.”

Holland Nurseries had to shut down completely Tuesday, as employees couldn’t get to work, but the business worked hard to get ahead of the storm.

“Fortunately we had an early enough warning of the forecast storm that we were able to get all of the Valentine orders we had received before yesterday out for early delivery yesterday,” said John Frecker, adding he hopes customers understand the need to do that.

A handful of orders that were made Monday were not able to be delivered on time, but those customers were told the storm might delay things.

“Getting deliveries for two very busy days all out in a single day has been a bit of a logistical nightmare for us, but at least those who had placed their orders in advance did get their Valentine flowers delivered,” said Frecker.

He said it’s unfortunate that people who waited until Valentine’s Day to order flowers won’t be able to get them on time, but Holland Nurseries will work to deliver them as soon as the weather permits.

“Needless to say, a storm like this on Valentine's Day, which is one of the busiest sales days of the year in the flower business, is always a big negative hit for any florist. But here in Newfoundland, stormy weather in February is to be expected. It 's one of the biggest challenges all florists here have to live with.”

In St. John’s, folks with appointment at spas, reservations at restaurants and orders with florists may need to adjust their plans, too. Those hoping to pick up a gift at the Avalon Mall are out of luck as it is closed for the day. Even love letters scheduled to arrive today will be delayed, as Canada Post halts delivery on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista peninsulas.

But a number of businesses in the metro region are determined hard to cater to Valentine’s Day sweethearts. Bob Hallett of Tavola said around noon on Tuesday that staff at his downtown St. John’s restaurant had been working hard and they were planning to open.

“We made a big effort to restock yesterday and do some prep, just in case, so we are ready to go,” he told The Telegram. “Our pioneering staff are coming in early in the afternoon. While there will probably be cancellations, a couple of diners have also called to make sure we are opening.

“On the upside, there is lots of parking!”

Newfoundland Chocolate Co. planned to stay open until 4 p.m., writing on its Facebook page: “Brent and Christina are spending their Valentine’s Day together serving customers at our Duckworth Street location! Our store is open for those intrepid romantics who want to strap on their snowshoes and stop down to our downtown location.”

Rock Paper Flowers was also ready for romance. The florist tweeted a photo of its “Open” sign, saying “Seriously? Yes! Come get your gorgeous flowers. Call ahead for curbside pickup.”

Holland Nurseries had to shut down completely Tuesday, as employees couldn’t get to work, but the business worked hard to get ahead of the storm.

“Fortunately we had an early enough warning of the forecast storm that we were able to get all of the Valentine orders we had received before yesterday out for early delivery yesterday,” said John Frecker, adding he hopes customers understand the need to do that.

A handful of orders that were made Monday were not able to be delivered on time, but those customers were told the storm might delay things.

“Getting deliveries for two very busy days all out in a single day has been a bit of a logistical nightmare for us, but at least those who had placed their orders in advance did get their Valentine flowers delivered,” said Frecker.

He said it’s unfortunate that people who waited until Valentine’s Day to order flowers won’t be able to get them on time, but Holland Nurseries will work to deliver them as soon as the weather permits.

“Needless to say, a storm like this on Valentine's Day, which is one of the busiest sales days of the year in the flower business, is always a big negative hit for any florist. But here in Newfoundland, stormy weather in February is to be expected. It 's one of the biggest challenges all florists here have to live with.”

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