A British florist in the heart of St Petersburg

Reporting by Jane Hoffman

In the heart of St Petersburg, Russia the flowers are always in bloom thanks to a 10 year-old company run by someone from Whitley Bay. With its prime central location it is often the first and the last stop for that quintessential Valentine’s Day gift of flowers.

A few weeks ago I caught up with Edward Thompson, the founder of Russiaflowerstore.com for a chat about ‘’all things floristry.’’

Here is an excerpt of the interview.

Q : How did you get the idea to start RussiaFlowerStore.com?

A: After trying several gift delivery services in Russia and not being happy with the freshness and quality of the products delivered, I decided to set up my own personalised service that guaranteed quality and gave Western-style customer service.

Q: What three words would best describe you?

A: Perfectionist, Organized, Empathetic

Q: What do you find most difficult?

A: Finding time to get things done. It would be great to have a clone!

Q: Is the customer always right?

A: Yes, always

Q: How would you describe your floristry ‘style’?

A: We are a luxury British brand and typically create elegant, classic designs.

Q: What is your main source of inspiration?

A: My client, understanding what they are looking to create and achieve, followed by the space where the flowers are to go and finally of course the seasons.

Q: How do you go about selecting partners to work with? What are the criteria?

A: We have our own premises in major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg. And for other cities and towns, I personally go and select the flower shop based on their qualifications, how long they’ve been in business and their suppliers. Our company then monitors their performance and we rate them often.

Q: How do you relax?

A: I listen to classical music, play golf, travel, stay with my family, prepare good food

Q: What has been the greatest challenge in this business?

A: Educating and informing people of our service. And making them aware that we are different from the other flower delivery websites out there. With us every order gets a personal touch.

Every request or inquiry receives a response from a human being. Every single bouquet and gift basket has the human touch. This takes some time, but we still manage to do it faster than most.

Taken from the Metro Newspaper, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.