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Meet Kevin McCarthy of McCarthy Group Florists in Johns Creek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin McCarthy.

​McCarthy Group Florists began as a single mom-and-pop store in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1952. With a small loan from his aunt, Bud McCarthy founded “Bud McCarthy’s Bokay Shop” and quickly came to be known across the city for his superior product and outstanding service. For the first seventeen years, Bud’s father, Ernest, worked in the flower shop with his son, cultivating the family-oriented atmosphere that has been integral to our company’s philosophy ever since.

Growing up in the business, Bud’s son Brian McCarthy was passionate and determined to expand upon his father’s vision. In 1977, Brian opened his first store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and grew to own seven other locations in the state by 1978. That same year, Brian purchased Bud’s “Bokay Shop” from his father and began to set his sights on “delivering love” throughout the country.

Over the years, Brian and his wife, Erin, have grown McCarthy Group Florists by opening new locations and by buying and revitalizing historic florists in other cities around the country with similar values and customer service.

Working side-by-side Brian and Erin, their son Kevin McCarthy continues the family legacy as a 4th generation florist and leads the company’s operations and vision.

Kevin and his wife Julianna continue to grow the business by adding new stores and improving the customer experience with unique farm-fresh flower designs, expanded flower and gift selections, and implementing new technology to the floral industry.

Today, McCarthy Group Florists has preserved Bud McCarthy’s original legacy with over twenty family owned and operated stores across ten states – each committed to “delivering love”, one customer at a time. From Denver in the midwest, to Manchester on the east coast, all McCarthy flower shops offer the same commitment to farm-fresh flowers and superior customer service. The McCarthy Group also owns and operates McCarthy Flowered Cabs in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the Bloody Point Golf Club and Resort, a 200-acre golf and beach resort on Daufuskie Island in South Carolina.

As McCarthy Group Florists completes its 65th year in business, the company works to inspire a new generation of flower-lovers. As a family, the McCarthys remain passionate about brightening people’s days with flowers for all occasions, from everyday to wedding day. To this day, McCarthy Group Florists remains 100% family owned and operated by members of the McCarthy Family and they are committed to providing unbeatable service.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The flower business has been changing for decades. With the growth of national online competitors (often who never even touch a flower), boxed flower deliveries, and grocery store flower departments, it is harder than ever for traditional family-owned florists to survive. In the mid 90s estimates said there were as many as 36,000 florists in the United States. Today, some studies show that number is under 12,000. Companies pushing cheap flowers online with easy ordering beat out traditional florists. The recession also took a major hit on smaller florists, with no sign of a comeback.

Although we experience the same competition as other florists, McCarthy Group Florists not only survives but we thrive because we put the customer first. We make it a point to never stop innovating for our customers. We challenge ourselves to do better and try new things while keeping up with new design trends. We buy most of our flowers direct from farms and growers all over the world, cutting out the middle-man and providing fresher, longer-lasting, and better priced flowers for our customers. We hand make and deliver each bouquet from our local stores and hand-deliver it to the recipient, vowing to never box our designs. To compete with big national companies, we provide an unparalleled expert service to our customers with great recommendations and better value. It isn’t always easy, it doesn’t always make financial sense, but we always do what benefits our customers most. We believe flowers help express a range of emotions for people from near or far away.

There’s a place for boxed flowers and grocery store bouquets. However, we are there for the customer who needs something special, for an important occasion – whether it be a birthday, anniversary, prom, wedding day, or anything in between. People still want experts, who know what they are doing and provide first-class personal service with a great product and exceptional value. Despite the challenges that we face from competitors and a changing industry landscape, our experience and service sets us apart.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the McCarthy Group Florists story. Tell us more about the business.
McCarthy Group Florists specializes in providing fresh flowers for every occasion from just because to wedding day. We are happy to provide farm-fresh specials every week and provide one dozen wrapped roses for only $9.99 most of the year all the way to $5,000 flower masterpieces. What sets us apart are our family values, committed to fresh flowers, unique designs, great prices, and personal service. We are the largest family-owned florist in the country, with over 20 locations in 10 states and growing. To be able to design and deliver same day with the same great service and quality to almost 30 million Americans is something we are truly proud of. We’re happy that we don’t compromise our core values as a company just to try to get more sales. We’ve had customers for decades and we’re proud that we’ve provided weddings for 3 generations of families in some of our stores. That is customer loyalty because of our unique service and value and that’s what Bud McCarthy’s legacy is all about.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think there is always some degree of luck, or perhaps chance, in life, that affects the outcome of our business. The challenging thing about the flower business is that you have a perishable product that lasts for a very short amount of time and is in a finite supply. “Luck” plays a role in the weather and how many roses or other flower are grown in a given year.

Sometimes, you get lucky and it’s easy to get the flowers you need. Other times, especially around holidays, you can get “unlucky” and you have to pay 5 times what you paid last year for the same rose. The key for us is that our customers pay the same prices year over year and if we can get a better price, we pass that along to our customers. As we celebrated our 65th anniversary, we sold one dozen roses for $6.50 – over a dollar less than in 1952! So the luck of the supply has a lot to do with our business. Each Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, we bite our nails in the hopes of getting enough supply of the flowers we need and the quality we require. We’ve been lucky for most years – but sometimes we have to get creative!

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