One of my most consistent customers over multiple years of selling flowers at markets in Toronto is not who'd you think. While, yes, a majority of my customers are ladies of all ages, my most constant customer is a gent my age and a carpenter. He swings by market every week on his bike, we chat about work, the weather, and the city and I make him a little flower bunch (always farmer's choice).
My favourite customer (I swear I love you all, but its hard to beat this one!), was an 8 year old boy, wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and a wide, mischievous grin as he picked out a few of his favourite stems with the coins he collected. Purchases in hand, he proceeded to run around the park, hold the flowers aloft like a magic wand and showing his parents his newly purchased treasures.
I've been going to market for 5 years now and can attest to the love of flowers by little girls and boys alike. Older boys and men may be shyer in their proclammations, but their love and interest in flowers is pretty apparent to me.
My new mantra: Flowers Everyday for Everyone!
So I will leave you with a few more small stories, about the boys who love the blooms.
-A mother walked past my booth, a little boy in tow. With buckets overflowing with sweet peas, she swept up her little boy into her arms so he could lean over the table to have him sniff each one. At each bucket, he took a deep, long inhalation and smiled. Every bucket had to be sniffed.
-A mother with her young daughter and son stopped by the booth to pick up a bouquet for their grandmother's birthday. At first mom and daughter took the lead, but it was clear soon enough that the older son had the flower vision and was made "lead designer" by his family. He proudly posed for the market manager as she snapped his photo.
-At the end of market, a man beelined over to the booth. He gushed his relief and happiness to find some locally grown flowers that reminded him of home, having just arrived from England that very day.
-When my favourite 8 year old, stopped by again another week for some more flowers, he seemed to inspire the flower spirit of a gentleman 50 years his senior. Watching the boy picking his flowers, the man began pointing more confidently to new palette of blooms, gently picking a few of his favourite from the buckets himself. He left with a armful of flowers and a wide smile, not unlike his 8 year old inspiration.