The Bouqs Company, a new online floral delivery company based in Venice Beach, California may be the way of the future. We can only hope, as it's pretty slim pickings when it comes to finding quality and responsibly grown flowers online.
John Tabis and JP Montufar are co-founders who met at college. After a variety of work experiences on their own, they reconnected with the idea of the The Bouqs Company, launched only 14 months ago. JP grew up in South America surrounded by the floral business, and John in the US with an interest in marketing and business. Together they saw a need in the online floral market for a business with a conscience and simpler more modern style. In their words, an online flower company that didn't "suck."
They're offering a Valentine's collection of 40 different bouquets—from snapdragons to $50 bouquets of roses—and will ship to all 50 US states. (Place Valentine's Day order this week to ensure delivery.)
I had to check them out, so I had them send me some early Valentine's Day flowers so I could see the quality for myself:
Photographs by Stephen Johnson except where noted.
Above: The Bouqs flowers unpacked and being conditioned in tepid water with the provided floral food.
There are a lot of reasons to love The Bouqs Company (the name is short for bouquets). The website is easy to navigate and well-designed and the flowers are cut and delivered the same day, which means the flowers you receive are only two to four days old, versus the majority of flowers from online services, which are closer to ten to 14 days old.
Above: Detail shot of the roses, three days after arrival.
The flowers were strong and healthy when they arrived; in fact they are so fresh that after three days the roses were just starting to open. The lighter pink roses got a little hit by the cold, but all I needed to do was remove the outer bruised petals. I'll be tracking how long they last, but I'm guessing at least a couple weeks if I change the water regularly and keep them away from the heat.
Above: Using The Bouqs flowers, I created a few different arrangements, adding in a little spirea I had on hand with the soft pink roses. In the foreground is Speedy the cat (he's checking for fragrance).
The Bouqs flowers arrive in great packaging: it's tasteful and not embarrassing. The company specializes in well-curated, simple, modern bouquets created by a seasoned floral designer, Eric Buterbaugh, who has a simple classic style with no more than two to three different flowers in one bouquet.
Above: Detail of the arrangements in my own vintage vessels. I cut the red spray roses down to a low, loose mound using a floral frog for structure. See Vintage-Style Flower Frogs.
Above: A view of The Bouqs hoop houses where some of the flowers are grown. Photograph courtesy of The Bouqs.
The Bouqs currently has 13 farm partners in Ecuador and California that have been diligently inspected to meet all company's standards—quality of blooms from size, color, to vase life and respect and care for the environment and their employees. "We end up turning down more farms then we work with," says Tabis.
The majority of their farms can be found on the sunny side of a volcano, 10,000 feet above sea level in Ecuador. Recently The Bouqs started to add flower farms more locally in California with the same standards but with the added bonus of overnight delivery anywhere in the US for a $50 flat fee. There are plans in the works to explore farm partners farther afield in Europe and Asia.
Above: A worker on one of the farms in Ecuador. Photograph courtesy of The Bouqs.
Beyond sustainability, The Bouqs Company believes in honesty and fair prices. For instance, prices don't increase at the holidays, a classic trick of most florists. The $40 bouquets will always be that price, and there are no annoying add ons.
The Bouqs co-founders also have devised some apps they call their "Concierge Service." The service offers a program to "Never Forget," for birthdays or special occasions with flower deliveries prescheduled for the year; "Just Because" randomly selects days throughout the year to send to loved ones for no particular reason, and an option to track of the receivers' floral preferences.
I've been looking online for a responsibly grown and tastefully curated flower company that is reliable and well priced, and I think I've found it in The Bouqs. If you're thinking of sending a bouquet for Valentine's Day, place your order this week to ensure delivery.
Interested in other delivery options? See Shopper's Diary: Weekly Flowers to Your Doorstep from Wildfolk Studio.