For many people, flowers are only ordered for special occasions. In turn, many people do not think about where their flowers are coming from or what the long-term consequences of their purchase may be. In the case of Ode à la Rose — as based in Chelsea — all of its orders are delivered same-day in Manhattan, as arranged locally, and customers can see a photo of their order prior to delivery. In addition, Ode à la Rose orders are presented in an appealing, exclusive gift box.
Ode à la Rose was founded by Olivier Plusquellec and Louis Brunet less than a decade ago. Five years after starting as a local New York-centric service, Ode à la Rose has grown to a multi-million dollar company, now delivering to 12 states around the Northeastern United States. Not only does Ode à la Rose offer flowers, but it also allows customers to add on candles created Grasse, France — arguably the fragrance capital of the world — and boxes of macarons from the New York City-based Macaron Café.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Downtown caught with Ode à la Rose co-founder Olivier Plusquellec for some Q&A. Beyond its website, www.odealarose.com, Ode à la Rose also stays active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. Olivier himself is also on Twitter.
Do you have a favorite offering of Ode à la Rose?
Olivier Plusquellec: I love our peony bouquets. Peonies are not available all year round…which is probably what makes me love them all the more. They’re perfect to decorate and brighten up any room and transform your home into a picture perfect pad in no time.
For someone seeking a Valentine’s Day gift for a partner or loved one, what would you recommend they pick up?
OP: Red roses are a Valentine’s Day classic for a reason. You can’t go wrong with a dozen — or one hundred! — red roses. Pink is also quite popular, and purple is a fun, unique color to switch things up with.
How about for a friend or a co-worker?
OP: If you still want to send roses, but without romantic intentions, yellow is a perfect choice. A mix of flowers tends to be more friendly as well, such as our Wildflowers & Roses bouquet. Nothing too big or crazy, or they may get the wrong impression!
Valentine’s Day aside, what are the key times of year for your business?
OP: Mother’s Day is the second most popular holiday for us. In terms of seasons, spring and autumn tend to be the busiest.
I understand that Ode à la Rose now delivers in 12 states. Does that mean that your flowers are sourced from all over the place?
OP: Although we deliver all throughout the Northeast, every arrangement is made in our New York City workshop, located in the heart of the Chelsea flower district. We make everything to order, and then ship the bouquets overnight in our travel containers filled with water to keep the flowers fresh.
Is the goal to be able to ship to all 50 states? To grow in another way?
OP: Yes. In 2017, we’ll be opening up a floral workshop on the West Coast with a similar set up as the one we currently have in New York City. Our goal is to have workshops in several strategic locations in the U.S. within the next five years to be able to deliver our bouquets to all 50 states.
Before starting up Ode à la Rose, what did you do for a living?
OP: We both worked in investment banking and made the leap to entrepreneurship about five years ago.
Have you always had a passion for roses?
OP: I’ve always enjoyed flowers especially to decorate my home. However, my passion for roses and for the art of floral design really started and grew with this venture.
Is there something you wish more people knew about your company?
OP: We offer a couple of features that enhance the flower delivery experience. For example, we send a photo of the actual arrangement that was made to the sender to guarantee that what our customers see on our website is what their loved one receives. We also offer our clients the option — free of charge — to upload their favorite photo during the check-out process which we print on glossy paper and add to the bouquet delivery.
When not busy with Ode à la Rose, how do you like to spend your free time?
OP: I like to spend most of my free time with my daughters, Rose and Madeleine. I don’t see them much during the week, so I try to make it up to them on the weekends, which leaves me with very little time to do anything else.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
OP: There are so many great restaurants in New York City, but Casa Apicii in Greenwich Village is currently my go-to place. The food there is absolutely off the charts, and the decor is beautiful.