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Over the years, we've collected literally thousands of letters and thank-you notes telling us how fun it is to receive one of our signature Birthday Flower Cakes. Often imitated but never duplicated, here's more information about this all-time favorite.
Watch a video introduction to the Birthday Flower Cake from Julie Mulligan, a 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Expert Designer who helped pioneer the first 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Birthday Flower Cake.
The Birthday Flower Cake itself is celebrating its own birthday! 10 years ago, the first Birthday Flower Cake was made, and ever since then it's been making people smile. How did it all get started? Here's an excerpt from Stop and Sell the Roses, by 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Founder and CEO, Jim McCann. In this excerpt, Jim recounts the story of how the Cake, one of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM's most popular flower arrangements, came to be.
One of our best ideas came from a bull session on one of my trips. We had visited a number of our BloomNet florists. BloomNet is a nationwide network of over 9,000 flower shops that we have handpicked to fulfill our orders. They have the right customer service attitude and take service seriously. As we talked with florists in a number of towns, I kept hearing the same message: "We want to be able to do something more with our craft capability." It made sense, come to think of it: if you are in the flower business, the odds are you have an artistic bent. You want to do something more than wrap up a dozen roses and send them out with the driver.
One night, toward the tail end of the trip, I brought up this subject with a group of florists. It just so happened that Lily Buckland, one of our fulfilling florists near Denver, was celebrating her birthday. That night we all went to dinner at one of those Rocky Mountain places where they serve you a steak the size of a German shepherd. We fell deep into conversation about what we might do by way of a new offering for birthdays – something that only a florist could do. At that very moment, the lights dimmed and the waiters filed over with a big beautiful birthday cake with sugar flowers all over it. As Lily took a deep breath to blow out the candles, a little light went off in each diner's well-fed brain: "A-ha! What about a birthday cake made entirely of flowers?"
The next day, before we flew out, I went down to one of our BloomNet shops and a bunch of us clipped stems and wove leaves around wire frame and made a prototype birthday flower cake. Good idea, but the cake wasn't there yet.
We sent out the word to all of the BloomNet florists. Could they submit a design for a birthday flower cake? The winner would get a trip to New York with their significant other and two tickets to see Whoopi Goldberg in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. One of our Long Island florists, Carlyn Ahmad, worked with my sister Julie and with key associate Jerry Rosalia. Together they dreamed up an incredible cake design. We went with it. The Birthday Flower Cake® is the single most successful design we have ever made. If I hadn't taken the time to hang out and go to a dinner with some of our people, we would never had done it.
It pays to keep every line of communication open because one of these days, right out of the blue, a valuable message is going to come down it.