Cambridge class manages the business of delivering love

CAMBRIDGE —  The scent of love is in the air at Cambridge High School, coming from 950 roses and 350 carnations as students created and delivered nearly 400 Valentine’s Day flower arrangements on Wednesday.

“This is a big deal,” said Jayden Mink, a junior and general manager of the floral shop. “All of our training leads up to this big day.”

The floral class and Future Farmers of America (FFA) club manage a year-round floral shop at the school. Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest times of year and will bring in nearly $3,000 in profit.

The floral shop is the only place in town to get a bouquet of flowers within 30 miles. Students deliver flowers to residents in Cambridge, Council, Midvale and Oregon. Customers can call in an order, stop by the shop, or pick their flowers online.

Floral teacher Jodie Mink begins training her 12 floral students in August on the elements of floral design, which include space, texture, pattern, shape, color and size. Students learn about flower mechanics, geometry and organizational skills.

“A lot of flowers are ruined while learning,” Mink said. “Nothing goes out the door until I know it’s a quality product.”

Students prepare orders two weeks in advance, processing credit cards, writing love notes and sorting balloons and candy. On Valentine’s Day, 34 students out of 42 that are enrolled at the school come together to help wrap flowers, arrange bouquets, blow up balloons and deliver.

“This is serious business,” Mink said. “We are a full-service.”

The flowers arrived fresh on Monday and students sorted out roses and carnations by colors — red, pink, white, yellow orange and purple. The flower arrangements cost between $8 and $55 and come with a special love note. The profits made go back into the floral class for future expenses and into the FFA club.

“This is a lot of work, but it’s worth it because I’m learning a valuable skill of running a business and floral design,” said Annalise DeVries, a sophomore at Cambridge High School. “I feel valued.”

Students work year-round creating flower arrangements for anniversaries, birthdays, funerals, weddings and holiday décor. The floral shop makes an average of $6,000 a year and is on track to beat last year’s profit. The school has been selling flowers for 20 years.

“We really never have a break,” Annalise said.

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