They love me, they love me not

The Valentine's Day rush at A New Leaf flower shop
February 14, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.

Staff Reporter

A New Leaf flower shop is co-owner Trish Manley's “swan song.” The shop, currently located on Cornwall Avenue, has been part of the Downtown Bellingham community for the past 40 years.

To Manley, Feb. 14 is more than a holiday to sell flowers — it is a way to empower and love her community.

photo  A New Leaf Flowers celebrates Valentine's Day with dashes of red, white and pink strewn throughout bouquet designs. On Feb. 14, the shop receives hundreds of orders. Many bouquets are crafted and left on display for customers to purchase while personalized arrangements can be made by special request. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

Manley and her staff create artfully crafted floral arrangements that express more than words could.

“That's why I love what I do,” Manley said. “We get to spread love.”

photo  Valentine's Day brings in a mixture of regular customers and new faces, eager to purchase a gift on the day to celebrate love. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

photo  Customers are greeted with a trail of rose petals scattered along the sidewalk in front of the store. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

Even the rose petal-covered storefront sidewalk invites customers to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The staff prepares days beforehand — this year on Feb. 9 — arranging the space as well as the flowers, to fulfill hundreds of orders for the big day.

photo  Audrey Burrell carefully cuts each flower stem to a slated point to ensure a healthy life span for each bouquet. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

photo  Jodie Sonnon locates the best foliage to compliment her cheery yellow arrangement. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

photo  Trish Manley, left, and Steve Blair carefully transport a load of bouquets to the delivery trucks. Many of today's deliveries require a trip to Lynden. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

Community members, like Nicola Thompson, flock to the shop in search of unique floral arrangements for their loved ones. Thompson came to A New Leaf to buy a bouquet for her partner, Drew. 

“This is his favorite flower shop,” Thompson said. “He is a romantic at heart and flowers are a way for him to show his affection.”

photo  Nicola Thompson, a regular at the flower shop, clutches the custom-made bouquet she ordered for her partner. (Victoria Corkum/Cascadia Daily News)  

Jodie Sonnon, a flower shop employee, recognizes that her role is part of something larger than simply creating and delivering bouquets. She believes A New Leaf is “more than just a flower shop.”

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