This Toronto floral shop is making the industry more sustainable

Before the pandemic, May Flowers, then a two-year-old floral business, operated like many of its competitors. It focused on wedding and occasion bouquets, and its shop in Toronto’s west end functioned primarily as a depot to fulfill orders.

This past spring, right after Mother’s Day—one of the busiest days of the year for florists—owner and creative director Annie Tran-Shuttin embarked on a revamp. The entrepreneur, who studied business and psychology in school and taught herself floral artistry through YouTube videos, wanted to create a modern, welcoming space. She envisioned customers shopping for plants, flowers, and a curated selection of gift items—such as chocolates, bath products, and candles—while enjoying a cappuccino from the in-house café.

“We have a bit of a unique business model in that we don’t use any of those wire services, like Teleflora, that broker orders,” Tran-Shuttin says. By interacting directly with customers in real-time, May Flowers is able to offer same-day delivery. “Everything’s designed in-house, and as soon as you order it, we start making it.”

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