To assemble each final stem and ribbon, Mr. Patrikis is on the cellphone always, negotiating with 15 distributors to get the most effective offers.

“When you don’t know the right way to purchase from the wholesalers, the wholesalers are going to purchase you,” he stated.

Relying on a stem’s size, the dimensions of the bloom and the nation of origin, a dozen roses in New York Metropolis can value a buyer from $10 from a avenue vendor to greater than $120 from a high-end florist. Mr. Patrikis prefers the Explorer number of pink roses, which he stated are likely to have bigger blooms and keep recent longer than another varieties.

Gross sales within the flower business, the place same-day, native deliveries are widespread, shot up early through the pandemic. So did the worth of doing enterprise, with rising gasoline prices, a flower scarcity and provide chain issues.

The elevated costs put stress on longtime florists like Mr. Patrikis, whose store was one in every of 5 on his block round 2010. Ditmars Flower Store is now the final one left.

“We had been by no means busier in our lifetime,” Mr. Patrikis, 37, stated about reopening in time for Mom’s Day in 2020 after the earliest closures within the pandemic. “We didn’t sleep for every week.”

Individuals spent practically $73 billion on flowers, seed and potted vegetation final 12 months, up 48 % from 2019 after adjusting for inflation, based on the U.S. Bureau of Financial Evaluation.

However there are indicators of instability within the business.

Troy Conner, the president of Kendall Farms, a big flower farm in Fallbrook, Calif., that sells to grocery store chains and wholesalers, stated that a lot of his prices had skyrocketed, too.

Starting final 12 months, he stated, demand for flowers had began to stage off. He stated he would possibly repurpose some land reserved for rising sunflowers, as soon as a worthwhile crop, to lift goats as an alternative.

At Ditmars Flower Store, Mr. Patrikis stated, the revenue margin has shrunk because the begin of the pandemic, from 20 to 30 %, right down to 10 to twenty %. The store may need gross sales of $150,000 and $300,000 a month.

He stated increased gross sales quantity had allowed him to make up the distinction to this point. This 12 months, he expects to promote greater than 100,000 pink roses, his hottest merchandise, up from 70,000 in 2019. On Valentine’s Day, the busiest vacation, he sells 15,000 roses.

The Society of American Florists, a commerce group, predicts that the variety of flower outlets within the nation will drop to 11,000 by 2026, partly due to retirements and consolidation. There have been 11,600 in 2021.

In final 12 months’s third quarter, there have been 398 florists in New York Metropolis, down from 432 in the identical interval in 2019, based on James Parrott, a director with the Middle for New York Metropolis Affairs on the New College.

Mr. Patrikis’s father, John, a Greek immigrant from the island of Nisyros, offered flowers within the subway and finally opened his first flower store in Astoria in 1983 earlier than shifting to the present 1,500-square-foot store in 2008.

Mr. Patrikis stated he felt obliged to remain within the household enterprise. Gross sales stay brisk, largely as a result of he has a broad vary of shoppers — weddings, funerals, Greek Orthodox church buildings. Nonetheless, he worries about shopper spending habits, now that almost all pandemic-era authorities advantages have dried up.

He’s optimistic about his personal future, although, as a result of his household purchased their constructing in 2003.

“The one ones who’re going to be left are those who personal their buildings,” he stated.

Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

Produced by Eden Weingart, Andrew Hinderaker and Dagny Salas. Growth by Gabriel Gianordoli and Aliza Aufrichtig.

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