Rhythm & Blooms Florist in Eugene, Oregon

Years ago, any time I stopped by Rhythm and Blooms in Eugene, Oregon to get flowers, it was packed full of people. Beautiful, fresh flowers, put together for you, or in bouquets, and reasonably priced. In the last few years, however, I never see anyone in there. I finally figured out why. I haven’t been in for a long time because the last time I did so, I was made to understand in no uncertain terms that my patronage was getting in the way of the staff doing other things that they clearly felt were more important.

Well, today I decided to try again and stopped by to get a small bouquet for the table. After telling the staff member quite clearly that I wanted to spend $10.00, I asked her to put together a bunch for me with some colorful Gerber daisies in the bouquet. She proceeded to insist I buy a $17.00 bunch with other flowers in it. I tried to direct her attention to my original request but she was not swayed. When I finally realized she wasn’t going to take the trouble to put together a special bouquet for $10.00, I told her I’d have to think about it, and left.

“Patronize local businesses”? Not when they’re patronizing to their customers. Local businesses go out of business most often not because of The Evil from Afar, but because of their own actions.

The fault, dear florist, is not in our stars but in our selves.

Complacency, self-regard and wretched customer service does more to shut down a “local business” than a thousand Wal-Marts. If your dream is to open a florist shop, I think you could do worse than Eugene, Oregon. It’s not like there’s a lot of competition.


  1. Sher says:

    No excuses for poor or lack of customer service…I agree with that. In response to a ten dollar bouquet…on most days I sell a dozen short stem roses for that , however as the economy has shifted, gas has increased, workers comp and liability is rapidly increasing I find that for every flower I bring in from around the world for my customer, my costs increase accordingly with gas and fuel surcharges being added on. Even I, being close to the flower hub of Miami find it harder and harder to sell those ten dollar flowers…even Walmart down here does not have a fresh selection of them. What I have found is that I can buy a premade bouquet which allows me to keep the cost down…it does not offer the selection that I or my customer may want but it does offer the price. Perhaps this florist does not have access to that…with that said, customer service as well as customer education is of utmost importance …Professional Florists like myself cannot stay in business without you and we need to do everything in our power to make you want to come into our businesses. Print your blog out and drop it in the mail to the owner..often we as owners do not see what happens at the front line of our shop each and every minute….but we want to know, we need to know and we depend on yo telling us so we can make things better. Thanks for your post and for allowing me to respond with my thoughts.
    Sher…Flowers From The Rainflorist…across the country from you but right there with you on this topic!

  2. Curt says:

    Sher: I really appreciate your note. Since this had a dozen (I think it was a dozen) white roses for $9.99, I figured it was pretty doable. If not, I would be perfectly happy with a sign that said, “We are happy to make custom bouquets for you. $40.00 and up.” Then, I know from the outset that this is not a place for me to bother with. Thanks for your comments. If I were around Miami, or had gotten my skivvies in a bunch over Rainflorist, I’d be mollified. I hope more local businesses start understanding how important customer service, and customer communications, are before it’s FTD from Ewa Beach to Miami Beach.

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