Friday, February 29, 2008

Flower God, God of Spring

FLOWER god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green - one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

For Jessica

A happy song for Messica.

I love you.

Chavo (Dad number 2)

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The Morning Routine

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is Che Bella Expensive?

Every so often I Google “Che Bella” to find out what people are thinking about us out in the ether, in other words I try to keep track of any reviews of our work. While Che Bella’s reviews are always excellent one comment that seems to be a common denominator is that we’re expensive. That may seem to be true on its face, however I’d like to take a moment to explain a little about our philosophy and what goes into the florals we sell in the hope that folks understand what we sell is at a fair market value.

When we first decided to open Che Bella we made a conscious decision to bring San Diego the finest florals the world has to offer. That means we sell only the highest quality flowers. Did you realize there are several grades of flowers? Es Verdad. We choose only the highest grade flowers so we pay more for the good stuff.

We also decided we didn’t want to compete with the Costco’s, Wal-Mart’s, 7-11’s, Home Depot’s, Trader Joe’s and all the other myriad places where you can buy inexpensive flowers. We simply cannot compete with their purchasing power nor do we want to, our intent is to provide quality and high end design not volume. These big box stores may provide flowers at low prices but you need to remember that the flowers you purchase there are a miniscule part of their overall sales. Do you really think that the flowers they’re selling are getting the daily attention that we give our product?

To ensure we have the quality we demand, we personally hand pick every stem from the local wholesalers three times a week. That translates to a 300 mile weekly drive. We could have our flowers delivered, but we lose control over the quality and that’s something we’re unwilling to do. That said, most of the fuel cost is absorbed into Che Bella’s operation and not passed onto you through the florals you buy.

In order to provide high design florals, we hire only the best designers in San Diego. Every arrangement that goes out the door is an artistic expression of an individual with many years of floral experience. To attract these artisans we have to offer an attractive salary and benefits package. We are a socially conscious shop, we offer health care and 401k retirement benefits – we don’t have to do this but we feel it is important not only because it brings us the talent we need but also that we’re doing what we can to improve the lives of our employees. So there is a labor component when you purchase an arrangement. A good analogy I like to make is going out to dinner. When you order a $15.00 plate of spaghetti, you’re not receiving $15.00 worth of pasta. You’re receiving the cost of the pasta marked up plus the labor and a percentage of the restaurants overhead plus a little profit, it is the same with us as it is with any florist.

As I mentioned above we are a socially conscious shop. That means we try to the best of our ability to purchase flowers from growers and wholesalers that are grown environmentally safe. Meaning a minimal use of pesticides or using organic growing practices that avoid the use of pesticides altogether, we also try to find growers who follow fair trade practices, that is that their employees are paid a fair wage and work in a safe environment. Again, these flowers are more expensive to grow, therefore more expensive when they come to market. To learn more about fair trade click here.

We understand that when you come to Che Bella you’re paying a premium, but you can rest assured that you’re receiving a premium product from a company that cares about what it is offering, cares about not only its employees but the employees of our suppliers and growers, and our environmental footprint in the world.

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It's been awhile...

So let's start with something light

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