DAVIS (CBS13) — Davis police shut down a local florist amidst the stay-at-home order over the coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday afternoon, Davis police shut down Strelitzia Flower Company – a local florist in business for more than 50 years.
“It was very uncertain for me why it happened that way,” said Strelitzia owner Dean Labadie.
Labadie says the closure stemmed from a complaint.
“Some people don’t understand. We are getting a lot of hate emails, social media,” Labadie said. “People are freaking out; they don’t understand what we’re doing.”
Labadie says his floral shop can stay open amidst the California stay-at-home order because they are an ag-related business deemed “essential.”
“We are open because we have ag producer licenses by State of California Department of Market Enforcement, and also [a] nursery license,” he said.
The chaos comes amidst sagging sales and layoffs. Labadie has cut back from 25 to 5 employees.
“It has been a little up and down,” Labadie said. “As long as our customers need us, we will be here.”
Jennifer Febricio says she feels lucky to have a job.
“A lot of my friends are at home ‘cause they got laid off or cut back in their hours,” she said.
For now, she is filling orders for floral arrangements and helping Labadie put together DIY bouquet kits for kids forced to stay home from school.
“The kids are affected by all this. They are stressed,” he said.
Labadie worked with county supervisors and the department of health to get the all-clear to reopen – no customers inside or curbside pickup, only drop-off delivery.
Since word of the ruling came down, Labadie says a half-dozen florists that rely on Strelitzia for their wholesale product have reopened their doors
“We got growers down in Watsonville, Salinas area that are cutting just for orders and flowers from South America coming in from Miami,” Labadie said.
Labadie understands the need for health and safety precautions now, but hopes business can blossom in time for Mother’s Day.
“If we can just have some consistency because each city and county is kinda making their own decisions and there’s no overall guidelines,” he said.
Around noon on Friday, Yolo County issued guidelines that stipulate all non-essential businesses can provide delivery service – but in-store customer pickup is still banned.