Petaluma florist devastated after thieves stole $1,200 worth of Mother’s Day flowers from small stand
“It’s five or ten times busier than any typical weekend for us…so that means we’ve been up for 15 hours a day without a break last week, cutting flowers, buying flowers other farmers, making the bouquets, preparing the stand”, Lennie Larkin, owner of B side farmhouse and flower design in Petaluma, ABC7 News told ABC7 News. “And so to see all of that work just being ripped off, it was absolutely devastating.”
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Larkin’s shop looks like something out of an old movie. This is a lovely little stand that sits on the side of a quiet rural road in Petaluma. Customers also pay for her perfectly cut flowers through the honor system.
“Which is usually very joyful for everyone involved,” Larkin explained. “People come in and leave us little notes saying things like, ‘I didn’t know the honor system still existed in this world. It reminds me of what my grandmother used to do with her sweet peas.'”
But on Mother’s Day, that trust was shattered — and brazenly.
Larkin woke up to find that two men had stolen all the flowers she had prepared and put out for the holiday. His surveillance video showed the thieves driving off with more than $1,200 worth of flowers.
A Petaluma florist woke up on Mother’s Day morning to find thieves stole ALL of her flowers – worth over $1,200 – just hours before her busiest day of the year .
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) May 9, 2022
“We saw the video of two guys coming in at 1 a.m. really quickly for the flowers,” she said. “A slow guy, then a faster guy, like the Grinch, slithered up to my beautiful flowers and gobbled them all up. And they were in and out in 15 seconds.”
Customer Brook McCann, who lives nearby and came to pick up flowers on Monday, said she heard about the theft on Nextdoor.
“I thought that was pretty sad,” McCann said. “Am I surprised? Not really. There are a lot of desperate people around.
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Larkin said she implemented the honor system at her stand for economic reasons. Its margins are too thin to support employees. But she also came to love the nostalgic aspect of it – how it reminds people of a simpler time.
She said that despite the theft, she planned to keep the honor system in place. “I’m sad that in this state of the world people are in a position where they feel they have to. And I feel compassion for the thieves,” she said.
Good news, community members and florists across the country have stepped up to repay Lennie for the money she lost.
I would say, its flowers—especially its peonies! – are beautiful. pic.twitter.com/Fp4UwDKVxu
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) May 9, 2022
In the 36 hours since the flight, Larkin said the outpouring of support has been incredible. People from the community and florists from all over the country reimbursed her for the money she had lost.
On Monday, she pulled out stems from her specially grown peonies as a thank you for all the support from the community. His next step: get a second security camera and file a police report.
As for his message to thieves?
“Farming is hard work. It is joyful work, but a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears have gone into this product,” she said. “And I hope they consider that. It’s not a victimless crime, you know?
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