Most people don’t mind being interrupted by a man delivering flowers, and Gina De Luca, music office secretary at Napa High School, was no exception.
On Wednesday morning, John Prittie, owner of Beau Fleurs Flower Company in Napa, surprised De Luca in a classroom near the school’s theater with a colorful spring blossom bouquet.
Prittie calls his deliveries “random acts of flowers,” a takeoff on the “random acts of kindness” movement. The florist created the campaign in part to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the family-owned business, he said.
The idea is to recognize someone who deserves a free bouquet of flowers, Prittie explained. That could mean someone who helps others — perhaps someone behind the scenes who might not always get the recognition he or she deserves. Or someone who faces adversity or assists those who do.
Anyone can receive a random act of flowers, Prittie said. Locals can drop by the shop to submit a name. Once a week, Prittie will pull a name from the nominations and deliver a free arrangement.
“I thought it would be fun if we could launch something involving the community that would be fun to do and spread good cheer,” Prittie said.
De Luca certainly was cheered by her flowers, hand-delivered by Prittie.
“I’m totally shocked,” De Luca said of her bouquet delivered in a glass vase. “Beautiful, creative, outstanding. I normally don’t get flowers.”
“I love them,” the secretary said, holding the vase and giving Prittie a hug.
To date, Prittie has received about dozen nominations and delivered five bouquets, he said. “The nominations are coming in but we’d love to see more,” he said.
In 1993, John and his wife, Kellie Prittie, bought the floral business, then located in River Park Shopping Center. Later they moved to the corner of First and Main Streets in downtown Napa. The business, which also sells garden and gift items, then moved to its current home on Silverado Trail.
The timing was right, he said. “I was looking for something to do that would make us part of the business community. I like to do anything creative with my hands. This seemed like the ideal thing. Next thing you know, it’s 20 years later and here we are.”
The business has survived for two decades, including the recent recession, by emphasizing quality and customer service, he said.
“If you just keep focused on those two items, then you can weather those storms,” Prittie said. “And I can’t say enough about the support we’ve had from our loyal customers. They helped us through that recession.”
Prittie said the weekly surprise deliveries should continue indefinitely. “I don’t see an end to it, as long as people are enjoying it,” he said.