DIALING FOR DAHLIAS

Greenwich’s newest darling is premier flower shop Winston Flowers, located at the bottom of Greenwich Avenue. Open less than two months, the purveyor of fine art floristry has already managed to create a buzz around town.

No stranger to the industry, the third-generation family business first made a name for itself in Boston, where it opened its first store on fashionable Newbury Street in 1944.  Today, the founder’s grandchildren – brothers David and Ted Winston – run the operation. Together the two have grown the business to seven shops throughout New England, including their latest venture in Greenwich.

Jaw-dropping displays of freshly cut flowers abound inside the sleek concrete building, as do an array of splendid imported pots that create the perfect vessels for floral creations. All are exclusive to Winston and come from carefully cultivated longstanding relationships with European vendors.

“If someone else has it, we don’t want it,” David says about his high-style pots.

Seasonally driven designs are inspired by nature’s natural rhythms, rendering a feel that is farm-fresh.  Looks can range from classic and traditional to modern and contemporary – fitting for any type of interior or event.

With an in-house design studio, a breathtaking retail space and offices in the back, Winston Flowers is perfectly poised to meet the needs of its customers. In addition to taking care of the walk-in trade for its retail shop, the company’s services include arrangements for events and weddings, residential in-house custom floral design, container gardening and store rental for special events such as small private dinner and cocktail parties, where guests are invited to wander around Winston’s rooftop deck to enjoy the spectacular view.

“Any time you can have an event in a flower shop, it’s a great environment because you don’t have to do much in the way of decor,” David says.

Residential custom floral service means one of Winston’s designers will come to your home and familiarize himself with the space, assessing your needs – whether it be on a weekly basis or when you entertain.

“For a client that walks in for the first time, as they are coming in they are discovering the many wonderful things we offer. As soon as that client understands who we are and understands our services, they are looking for us to cater to their needs,” says general manager Emily Pinon. “We offer them more of a concierge service. So a client will call us and say, ‘We’re having a dinner party, but we also need our outdoor planters taken care of. Can you do it all by 4 p.m.?’ It’s 9 in the morning and it happens,” she says with a smile.

But it’s not just the fast turnaround that’s attracting customers. They’re noticing the superior quality and friendly customer service, too.

David and Ted Winston saw an opportunity to bring both to Greenwich.

“We felt there was a lot of synergy between Boston and Connecticut, because it’s not that far away, and there are a lot of families in Boston who have relatives in the Greenwich area,” David says. “Or their kids may have gone to school in Boston and they’re back in Connecticut.”

Four times per week fresh flowers are flown in from Italy, Holland and France and arrive at Kennedy Airport, where trucks pick them up to deliver them to Greenwich first, then on to their Boston locations. The direct route is just another reason it made sense to open in Greenwich.

Depending on the scope of the job, Winston’s Greenwich locale is able to pull together a larger crew from the Boston stores to support any size event.  That flexibility is just another example of what gives Winston Flowers its competitive edge.

Even though the business is Boston-based, Emily says, it services Manhattan, doing events in the city almost once a week.

“We’re taking two trucks a day into Manhattan, whether it’s event related, gift orders or daily deliveries,” she adds. “We are very well-established to cater to our clients in all of Fairfield County, Westchester County and Manhattan.”

Unlike the cookie-cutter chain-store model, each of Winston’s seven stores is designed to look a little different from the others, reflecting the character of its community.  Some of the stores are more urban in feeling with the use of more steel and metal like the downtown Boston shop, while other locales like those in suburban Boston, have a more country feel. Designed by architect Meredith Basque, the Greenwich store came together on time and on budget.

“The aesthetic here is a little bit cleaner and a little bit more residential feeling,” David says. “I wanted people to be able to relate to home, so we chose the darker wood. It feels like it could be in your home….”

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