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Local florist works to deliver thousands of Valentine’s Day bouquets

WASHINGTON — With Valentine’s Day on Thursday, florists are working hard to keep up with demand.

In the backroom at Bethesda Florist, the phone is ringing nonstop as Tracy Callahan shuffles from red roses to pink tulips, hard at work filling orders with his staff of nearly 40 people.

It’s an unlikely business for a former baseball player.

“I told my dad I would never get involved in the flower business — 46 years later, I’m still here,” Callahan said.

Over a span of three days, he said his shop will deliver more than 15,000 bouquets, sometimes knocking on doors as late at 9 p.m. It’s what he calls a mass production of special deliveries, each personally prepared for someone special.

“I never met a recipient that wasn’t thrilled to get them,” Callahan said.

From imports to shipping, new employees and training, every corner of the shop here is lined with roses, ready for delivery. “It’s crazy, but it’s a lot of fun,” Callahan said.

Being able to make someone smile with one of his bouquets is something he said beats a game of baseball any day.

“We want them to go, ‘Wow! Oh my gosh, look what I was sent,'” Callahan said. His No. 1 goal, he said, is to make his customers’ Valentine’s Day one to remember.

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