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.

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Bethesda Florist was busy Wednesday prepping for one of the busiest days of the year. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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Forty staff members were working Wednesday to be sure people who receive flowers on Thursday would be happy. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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Valentine’s is such a long day, and so busy, some deliveries don’t make it to their destination until 9 p.m. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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About 15,000 bouquets will be delivered for Valentine’s Day. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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The big day is “crazy, but a lot of fun,” Callahan said. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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Owner Tracy Callahan was once a baseball player. He said getting a great bouquet beats winning a baseball game, anytime. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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“I never met a recipient that wasn’t thrilled to get them,” said Callahan. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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From imports to shipping, new employees and training, every corner of the shop here is lined with roses, ready for delivery. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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Callahan said he loves making people smile. (WTOP/Melissa Howell) (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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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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