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Flower Mall stays open for both Mothers Day Rushes

By Sonali Kohli
Published: Wednesday, May 09, 2012, at 03:51PM

Growers Direct owner Gersain Buston shows the bunches of mini roses that are on sale for Mothers Day at the California Flower Mall. The mall will be open for 24 hours from Wednesday through Thursday and Saturday through Sunday, to handle the rush.

On Thursday, Ana Flores will call her mother and mother-in law and wish them a Happy Mother's Day, in Spanish.

Three days later, the parenting blogger will celebrate Mother's Day again - this time with her own daughter, according to the American tradition. The decision of which Mother's Day to celebrate with her husband and daughter was a difficult one for Flores, who grew up in San Salvador.

On one hand, Flores wants to maintain her cultural roots. On the other, her 4-year-old daughter learns in school that Mothers Day is the second Sunday of May, and it would be confusing to tell her differently.

The solution? A different day of celebration for each generation.

This double dipping is beneficial for places like the California Flower Mall in Downtown. The Flower District mall usually stays open 24 hours on the Saturday leading up to Mother's day, but this year it will be also be open Wednesday through Thursday night for the Dia de La Madre crowd, said Mark Chatoff, the mall's CEO.

Mother's Day is already the most profitable holiday of the year for the floral industry, so having two days adds to the profits, Chatoff said. "It's the single largest floral holiday," Chatoff said. "Up to 60 percent of annual revenue can be generated on Mothers Day."

The vendors in the flower mall do both wholesale and individual "do it yourself" arrangements for customers, Chatoff said.

For Dia de La Madre, red roses are integral to most arrangements because they represent the love and strength of mothers, said Hilda Jimenez, operations director for the Flower Mall.

"For the Latin culture, when you think roses you think red," explained Gersain Bustos, owner of the vendor Growers Direct. "So we have a lot of red."

According to Chatoff most of the roses, are imported from Columbia and Ecuador. The types of flowers people get are pretty varied across the board, though, Bustos said, whether for Dia de La Madre or American Mother's Day. Roses, tulips, orchids and even potted plants are popular, Bustos said.

"Mother's Day is a day when all colors go," Chatoff said. The main difference between the Latin and American though, is the way it's celebrated, Flores said.

Since May 10th falls on any day of the year, there's usually a large family dinner with all the generations, Flores explained. "In Mexico where my husband's from, [Mothers Day] is a big deal. There's a big dinner at his grandma's house, all the aunts gather there," Flores said. "I feel like here it's my day to be alone, to do whatever I want to do."

At the Flower Mall, this time of year usually means there are lots of people in the area, not just buying flowers but also sampling street food, and even dancing to an impromptu band performance, Jimenez said.

"It's like a festival," Chatoff said.


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