Couple takes floral business from Fresno to Reedley ranch during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For nearly four decades, Lorrie and Larry Yamada of Kiku Floral have sparked joy in the Central Valley, one bloom at a time.

Whether it's a bridal bouquet or commencement arrangement, chances are, they've been a part of your special day.

"We just really love what we do," Lorrie said. "It's what we're supposed to do."

The onset of COVID-19 brought an entirely new challenge to their floral business.

On top of canceled graduations and more than 50 postponed weddings, state restrictions meant they'd have to close their doors.

"You kinda have to embrace it, think outside of the box," Lorrie said. "It's super scary, but you have to keep moving forward."

They embraced the work from home model, bringing Kiku floral from Fresno to their Reedley ranch.

"We brought our refrigeration unit home," Lorrie said. "We basically took that shop, moved everything into it and not one day did we close. We've been doing Zoom, phone calls, and emails. I do have a small office space in Fresno."

She also converted a would-be dining room into a consultation room, large enough to maintain social distance from clients.

Lorrie says it's the customer service, especially during the pandemic, that's key.

"You're sending something that's representing that person their thoughts and their feelings because they can't go see them right now. so we are their voice," she said.

Her advice to other small businesses...

"There will be an end to this," she said. "We have to just keep looking to the future and you have to wake up everyday and figure out what you're going to do to get through that day. Take it head-on."
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