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Superman Florist Of The Year: Bob Buettner

Bob Buettner, Connecticut Florist of the Year

Bob Buettner from Paul Buettner Florist Inc. was recently named 2010 Connecticut Florist of the Year, but after our recent conversation, I think he should be titled, Superman Florist of the Year. He has done more in the past year than most people accomplish in 10! Congratulations Bob. No one deserves this honor more than you!

This award is given for more than just being an accomplished florist, it’s about all of the contributions made on both a local and state level. Bob is truly a man who goes above and beyond his call of duty.Working as a florist is great, but Bob’s true passion is helping others in need. He does an incredible job of merging his two loves.

Bob helps organize a special flowers for kids program in his community, where he shows children how to make bouquets. Each kid gets their own flowers to arrange and by the end of the day, they have their own bouquet to take home. There is also a story that goes along with it about growing flowers. What a great way to get kids interested in plants and flowers!

Flowers For Kids Program

Bob Buettner also has a big heart for charity. He sponsors a booth at the Connecticut Women’s Health and Wellness Expo where this year they helped raise $1,400 in 1½ days for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. (Last year they raised $1,200!)

Flower Fundraiser For Susan G. Komen Foundation Flowers For Breast Cancer Awareness

For Christmas, Bob helps his team decorate childrens’ hospitals to, as Bob puts it, “bring [the children] a little bit of brightness and cheer.” He works with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and others. Each hospital gets it’s own theme and they decorate multiple floors. Bob says they start planning in August and begin decorating right after Thanksgiving. What an amazing effort to bring joy to the lives of sick children who are stuck in the hospital for Christmas.

In February, Bob helps out at the Connecticut Flower Show. Here, he raises money for charity by doing multiple flower arranging demonstrations through the event.

Flower Arranging Demonstration

He also plays a vital role in the North East Floral Expo in March as trade fair chairman. Bob spends much of his time working closely with the Connecticut Florist Association. He is proud to be on their board of directors and is also marketing chairman. Buettner does as much as he can to proactively promote his industry.

Somehow, Bob also finds the time to teach floral design at the Manchester Community College.

Scuba Diving For Kids With Terminal Illnesses “One other project that is dear to my heart,” is surprisingly his role as a scuba instructor. For the past 22 years, Bob Buettner has spent his summers teaching scuba lessons to kids with terminal illnesses. These are kids who otherwise would never have the chance to be a part of something like this. It is clear Bob is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping others and is truly an inspiration to us all.

Surprised by his overwhelming selflessness, I asked “When do you have time to be a florist?!” He responded, “There’s always time to do new things that are worth while. All of these projects are very worth while. I have a lot of good help behind me. My committees work very hard and we all support each other.”

Bob Buettner is a 2nd generation florist who’s been in the business for over 50 years. His daughter (3rd gen) is now the shop manager and is slowly taking over his day-to-day practice. He says proudly that she is an excellent designer. When I asked about his family business, he said, “It’s nice to have family, because we all work so closely together. Sometimes there’s a problem at family dinners. We all start talking about business and things like that. It’s a very personal business and we pride ourselves on service.”

“I’m 66 years old and people keep asking me, ‘When are you going to retire?’ I will retire the day I don’t want to come to work. I enjoy the business. I keep telling people, ‘Grumpy people don’t buy flowers.’ It’s not always a happy situation; obviously we deal with a lot of people that have had death in the family, but we can give them a little peace and a little bit of beauty and know that we have brought a smile into their lives.”

The Connecticut Florist Association could not have picked a better choice for the 2010 Florist of the Year. Thanks Bob for being such an inspiration to us all.

This post is brought to you by local Hartford CT florists.
Not in Hartford? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory to find a florist near you!

Flower Shop Network goes to the Northeast Floral Expo

Representatives from Flower Shop Network attended the Northeast Floral Expo in Hartford CT on March 1st and 2nd.
From upper left to right: Joe Hays, Loranne Atwill, Brock Atwill and Leslie Cox.

New England florists and vendors attended floral design, business and technology seminars and presentations. New business relationships were forged and products were purchased and sold. High School students competed in floral design and select florists displayed some amazing work. Congratulations to the officials of the Northeast Floral Expo for another successful show.

Renato Cruz Sogueco, Chief Information Officer with SAF visited our booth after his presentation on how to be a web savvy florist.


Renato’s seminar was attended by more than fifty florists interested in claiming their place on search engine results. It is apparent that owners are realizing the Internet is the new preferred way for customers to shop and order flowers. Renato relayed the story of a shop owner in Denver, located directly across the street from a large hi-tech company. The shop owner said that almost 30% of his revenue came from the employees of that building, although he had never had a single one of them come inside his shop. Renato expanded on the point by saying that Generation Y (kids these days) are more comfortable online, than on the phone.

Renato outlined some basic ways to improve your website’s appeal to the search engines, pointing out that content in the form of keyword rich text was really more important than “pretty pictures”or flash.

Blogging as well as exposure on social networking sites such as Myspace.com and Facebook.com and even YouTube.com are ways to gain more exposure for a flower shop’s website, according to Renato.

In the end, a shop wants to wrap up as many postions on the natural results as possible. Ways to accomplish this are through listing with online floral directories, such as FlowerShopNetwork.com. For more information on Renato and SAF visit www.safnow.org.

Joe Hays of Flower Shop Network meets member Jenny Thomas of Oak Hill Florist from Scarborough, ME.


Flower Shop Network members Dot and Paul Chenevert of The Green Oak Florist in Hyde Park, New York, talk to Leslie about their new FSN website.


Our neighbor at the show also happens to be the representative for our phone system here at work. We would highly recommend anyone looking to improve communications to contact Kelly Lumpkin of Alternate Access about their TeleVantage system.


A member of our sister site, FGmarket.com (wholesale directory for floral and gift products) , Carroll Hunt, is always good for a laugh and a positive attitude. Carroll offers a delivery product that we personally used back when we had a flower shop. We highly recommend it. Check out their website at SeminoleDeliverySystem.com.


Thank you to the officials of the 2008 Northeast Floral Expo for producing a very productive show. We look forward to seeing all of you again in 2009.

No Rest For The Weary – Florists Are Busy With Conventions

Although Valentine’s Day 2008 is over, the next two weeks is a busy time for many florists. Several florists’ conventions are taking place February 29th through March 9th.

The Northeast Floral Expo will be celebrating its 75th year, February 29th –March 2nd in Hartford Connecticut. Florists attending have the opportunity to attend workshops, programs and a trade fair. Some of the Flower Shop Network staff have their bags packed and are ready to go.

Florists from Georgia attending the Georgia State Florists Association Convention February 29th – March 2nd in Atlanta Georgia. Florists will have the opportunity to network with others from across the state.

Florists from Michigan can attend the Michigan Florists’ Association Spring Conference and Great lakes Floral Expo February 29th – March 3rd in Grand Rapids Michigan. Florists will have the opportunity to enjoy many activities all revolving around the “Visionary Concepts For A Bright Future” theme

Florists from Illinois can attend the Illinois State Florists Association Conference March 6th-9th in Springfield Illinois. Florists will have the opportunity to attend workshops, competitions and other useful programs.

Although many florists are exhausted from the Valentine’s Day holiday, they can’t pass up the excellent opportunity to network and learn the latest floral trends. So for all of you attending these great conferences, remember its not all work at the conventions – you get to play quite a bit, too.  For those of you attending the Northeast Floral Expo our network coordinators look forward to seeing you. In fact if you stop by the Flower Shop Network  trade show booth, we have a great totes bag to give you.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2008 Northeast Floral Expo

I know the Northeast Floral Expo is over a month away, but Flower Shop Network is buzzing with preparations for their journey to Hartford, Connecticut. One of the top florist trade shows, the Northeast Floral Expo will be held February 29th thru March 2nd.

After a long and hectic Valentine’s Day, this florist trade show is a refreshing change of pace. Florists, from over 15 states, will be inspired and educated by an array of international designers during the four design show sessions. Many fantastic learning opportunities are available for florists at the expo. Florists can learn the fundamentals of creating excellence, both in design and in their day-to-day operations, at the business clinics and workshops. Valuable how-to-tips are demonstrated right on the Trade Fair floor and free to all attendees. These how-to demonstrations are interesting as well as educational. The spectacular displays at the Trade Fair will introduce florists to incredible new products and ideas. In fact, Flower Shop Network has one of the most popular booths at the Northeast Floral Expo.

Great information and products aren’t the only thing in store for florists attending the Expo. Local Connecticut florists and Southern New England florists can display their flower arrangements. Connecticut Florists Association members can participate in a floral design competition. The 2008 CFA Floral Design Competition will have two divisions. The first division is open to any beginner to semi-experienced CFA member. The second is the “best of the best” competition. Previous winners of the state competition will via for the title of Floral Designer of the Year 2008. Probably, the most exciting aspect of the Northeast Floral Expo is the opportunity to network with other florists at one of the workshops, competitions, on the Trade Fair floor or at the banquet.

The Flower Shop Network Sales Co-coordinators are looking forward to meeting up with old friends and excited about meeting new ones. So mark you calendar – that’s February 29th through March 2nd – We hope to see you there.

For non-florists the Northeast Floral Expo is sharing the Connecticut Convention Center with the Connecticut Home & Remodeling Show. Florists attending the Expo receive a pass for the Home Show – in return the Home Show attendees are invited to the state floral design competition and the local floral displays at the expo.