"It’s a crazy day," Kathy Saldutte announces from her spot behind the counter. On the wall behind Kathy is a placard - "If friends were flowers, I’d pick you." By crazy, she means crazy good. Recently delivered fresh flowers fill plastic pails scattered on the floor of The Violet Bouquet Flower Shop. The telephone rings incessantly.Flowers are the gift for all seasons and all reasons.
Dish gardens line a multi-tiered display near the front door, and pots of peace lilies crowd along a side wall. In front of a refrigerator a black pail holds white and deep pink carnations and wax flowers fill a white pail nearby.
Donna Jena, Kathy’s cousin and assistant, opens the refrigerator in search of statice for an arrangement. While she’s in the refrigerator, she decides on a bunch of rusty mums to complete the arrangement.
Kathy finishes her order and joins me out front. She opens a bag containing what has become a popular purchase for funerals. It’s a throw with a spiritual theme that’s hung on an easel. She’s been in business on Brookline Boulevard for 20 years. While Kathy says she is mostly self-taught, she spent three months looking over the shoulder of the former owner before buying the shop. After a career in the travel industry, Kathy found a new passion.
"You have to love this to keep doing it." She does everything weddings, funerals, dish gardens and even prom corsages. Kathy says prom corsages are tedious work.
Valentine’s Day means late nights and last minute orders, including the man rushing in at the last minute looking for a gift for his wife! That’s when her husband will ask her, “Well, do you still love it?” “I tell him yes,” says Kathy.
Stop by The Violet Bouquet Flower Shop and meet Kathy Saldutte.
The Violet Bouquet Flower Shop is located at 931 Brookline Boulevard. Contact Kathy Saldutte at 412-341 -5755 or 1-800-448-1774.
- Pamela Grabowski
- Photos by Melissa Distel Photography
This article originally appeared in 'The Brookline,' Issue #55, Page 1, January 2013, and is used with permission.