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In the Bloom with Maria: Serving up flowers with wine, beer, and food

In The Bloom with MarinaIt’s a challenge every business owner faces—how do you bring new customers into your store? The upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to try some new twists on attracting customers with special events. But as Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd found out, doing something extra at your shop also means taking a look at your current insurance coverage.

So, what kind of event can you offer? The owners of a Portland, Oregon, flower shop began with a Christmas-themed winter holiday celebration. It was so successful, they branched it out into summer events. The July e-brief from the Society of American Florists showcases their new efforts. In conjunction with the Northeast Broadway Business Association, the store took part in a family-friendly event offering activities ranging from face painting and street dancing, to carriage rides and beer tastings. They also featured special sales areas in front of their store and inside to help clear out some of their old inventory.

They’re not alone. These days, more and more floral businesses are pairing things like wine, beer, and food tastings with special programs and sales. Many owners have found experiences like these are a great way to boost customer retention, bring in additional customers, and attract people who might not be familiar with a shop or design studio. But if you’re thinking about starting something like this—or expanding on what you already have—you should do your homework first.

First, talk with your landlord and city permits department to make sure hosting a food and alcohol event is allowed. Create guidelines to ensure you’re only serving alcohol to adults at the state-approved drinking age and use good judgement to not overserve anyone. You also want to keep the event safe. Hold the festive portion in a different area away from your design areas.

And don’t forget to contact your insurance agent to talk about liability protection when hosting this type of event. Remember, special food handling and liquor liability coverages can be added to your liability policy if you intend to broaden your product line.

Remember, your agent can’t cover you for something if you don’t tell them about it.

If you have any liability questions when it comes to hosting a special experience in your business, give one of our agents a call. We’re happy to help.

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