BOULDER – Christmas and New Year are imminent, and Boulderites are dressing up their homes to celebrate. Many rely on Sturtz & Copeland, Boulder’s historic and iconic florist, for the finest florals, holiday trees, gifts, and vibrant seasonal decorations.
These December days the fragrance in the air at Sturtz & Copeland is a potpourri of evergreen trees and boughs and wreaths, and fragrant seasonal flowers, like paperwhite narcissus and Stargazer lilies.
Sturtz & Copeland has been Boulder’s premier florist for most of a century. It is perennially voted the recipient of Best Florist and Greenhouse awards by the Daily Camera, Boulder Weekly and Colorado Daily. Sturtz & Copeland has maintained a tradition of high-quality customer service along with a knowledgeable staff always willing to help.
They specialize in professional floral arrangements, a wide selection of annuals and perennials, a year-round greenhouse filled with indoor plants, unique greeting cards, garden statuary, gifts galore, succulent wreaths, holiday tree ornaments and more.
Old-fashioned customer service
“We love our customers,” says owner Carol Riggs. “These relationships that we build with people – I think people value that. They are not going to get it from shopping on the Internet or from the big-box stores. The business has been here since 1929; how many businesses are still going, still family run, and still have the same employees that have been here, and customers who have come to us for years, who love plants and flowers?”
General Manager Connie Smith says, “We could not achieve this high level of quality and customer service without retaining long-term and dedicated employees. For example, our floral design department of seven has worked for us for a combined 48 years. I have been here almost 25 years. A number of our valued employees return year after year to work in our garden center for the busy season. These are hardy folks who work through heat and cold and cheerfully and enthusiastically help beautify our Boulder yards. We have had a number of employees who left and returned to work with us again. We call them Boomerangs.
“We are a family; we work hard as a team and keep it laid back and fun, too. Many of our customers have said that when they retire they want to come and work for us in our fun and beautiful environment.”
She hires people for their friendliness, if they also have the expertise. “People who work here love what they do, appreciate being paid to be in a beautiful environment, in a business that makes people happy, with lush and comforting giftware and plants.
“Our customer service is excellent. We accommodate special orders as much as possible; we try to get our customers what they want in a hard-to-find houseplant or create the look they have in mind with our floral designers. In the summer we do custom outdoor planters for folks through our French Garden Department.”
Smith has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in floriculture. She is an avid organic gardener and keeps the greenhouse and shelves at Sturtz and Copeland stocked with everything from green plants and pottery to earth-friendly and organic gardening products. She has hand-selected over 90 percent of the indoor plants in the greenhouse.
“We buy the majority of our outdoor plants from local growers as well as carry seeds from three local companies. This provides customers with an outstanding selection to choose from at each and every visit to Boulder’s best and largest florist and garden center.”
This is Christmas central
Smith says, “What sets us apart as Christmas tree sellers is that we carry five or six different types of the freshest trees, up to 14- or 15-feet tall – and we can order larger. We do offer our customers delivery as well as set-up in their home. We put it in their stand in water. People really like that we do delivery and set-up for them – we’ve been doing it for decades. Most customers have fun coming in and picking their tree, or we have other regular customers who call and ask us to do it for them.”
She adds, “Our long-time customers know our names, and we know theirs. It’s nice to be part of a community. A lot of new customers see our website and are impressed and come into the store. Then they are impressed and even amazed by the size of the store – they had no idea how big it is.”
Flowers are always in season
Floral designer Autumn McMurren Lund says, “We do custom floral arrangements and have a big selection. Right now we feature seasonal flowers, including tulips, roses, amaryllis and lilies. There are seven of us here, and we fill orders every day. We’re the largest supplier in Boulder.
“We also do custom wreaths for Christmas and have a variety of sizes and of ribbons. We can help you put a wreath together for your front door or elsewhere in your home. We have a great choice of materials you can add, like cones, ribbons and bows, and ornaments.
“During the holidays we decorate a lot of parties. The “natural mountain” theme is popular, with pinecones and fresh evergreens. We get a selection of flowers in daily; I go to the wholesale market every morning and pick them out. Right now we have a variety of roses, lilies, anemones, tulips, and amaryllis in a variety of colors. We also have fresh winter berry – also known as ilex– and holly and mistletoe. Since we’ve been in Boulder so long, most clients trust us to choose their florals, or they’ll bring in an item like a napkin to match colors.
“This is a really nice place to come to this season – with fresh trees and wreaths in the back, and the greenhouse filled with varieties of poinsettias, paper whites, amaryllis and other holiday bloomers. We have a really large walk-in cooler where the selection of fresh flowers are that I have chosen at the wholesaler, and which we get in daily.”
“We give to many local charities and programs,” Smith says. “To name a few: we give gently used flowers to Meals on Wheels weekly. It is so precious to receive calls of appreciation from older folks whose day was brightened by their meal served with a few flowers. We support the arts with yearly donations to the Colorado Music Festival. We have supported garden education with plant contributions to the Growe Foundation, which does school gardens. We have given discounts to City of Boulder volunteers who are involved in the adopt-a-flower-bed program.”
Visit Sturtz & Copeland
Enjoy a visit to the garden center and greenhouse at 2851 Valmont in Boulder. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 303.442.6663 or visit sturtzandcopeland.com.
By Judy Finman. Photos by Jonathan Castner.