‘For the love of people’

Pavlic’s still delivers after 47 years

Tina Harbuck
Becky Pavlic Edge trims up a few roses to fill a last minute order earlier this week. Edge opened her florist shop in 1972. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

If you come in to buy flowers, don’t be surprised if you can’t get out the door without a hug.

For 47 years, Pavlic’s Florist and Gifts has been offering that “family-run, hometown” touch to customers for those special moments in everyone's lives.

In 1972, Becky Pavlic Edge opened the florist shop in Destin in a 12-by-24 trailer on U.S. 98 in front of where the Red Door Saloon is now located.

In the early days, Edge said she used to walk across the street every morning to the Post Office, located at the corner of U.S. 98 and Melvin Street, and say hello and have a cup of coffee.

“I miss that,” said the 73-year-old. “We’re not a small fishing village anymore.”

Edge said her first customer was Muriel Destin, mother of Dewey Destin, who is still her customer today.

“She bought a plant, that’s all I remember. We didn’t have a whole lot of flowers when we first opened,” she said.

Since that small trailer on U.S. 98, the business moved eastward to the other side of where Landshark’s Pizza is now located. After a couple of years there, Pavlic’s found a permanent home in 1985 at 116-A Benning Drive behind Sexton’s Seafood Market.

“We have customers who have been with us forever,” Edge said, noting she has watched children grow up as she has provided the flowers for their proms and even weddings.

But Edge is quick to attribute the success of the business to the “love of people.”

“You never know whether it’s a young man who’s fallen in love, or a gentleman who come in and loves his wife dearly, or if it’s family that comes in and says we need your help, mom just died. You just never know," Edge said. "You just have to love people in order to do it. The hardest part is dealing with a family that’s lost somebody.

“If you don’t love doing this job you don’t need to be in it,” she added.

The florist business is a lot of long hours and hard work.

“Lifting buckets with tons of water, heavy plants, working 900 hours on a holiday week and you never have a holiday you can call your own,” Edge said.

Edge and her manager, Tammy Valentin, even work Christmas.

Pavlic’s three biggest holidays are Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas with Mother’s Day coming in at No. 1.

Edge said people may forget mother all year long, her birthday and such, but not on Mother’s Day. Leading up to Mother’s Day, the two put in 16 to 18 hour days, making and designing arrangements.

“The bad thing is so many people wait until the last minute and you can only do so much,” Edge said. “And the horror of owning a flower shop in Destin in the summer time is the traffic.”

Valentin explained that it takes two hours to deliver some things that usually would only take an hour.

“People really don’t understand when they order,” Valentin said.

Pavlic's is also affiliated with national florist services like FTD and has to fill orders for them, which sometimes takes some interpretations, Valentin said.

So in order to make it all happen, Pavlic’s carries a wide spectrum of flowers to try and cover all occasions.

The most popular flowers are roses and stargazers, Edge said.

If it’s Valentine’s Day, its roses, Valentin said.

For Mother’s Day, it’s mixed arrangements and birthdays and anniversaries, it’s a variety.

“You have to have a little bit of everything,” Valentin said.

Pavlic’s has come a long way in 47 years. In the first few years, seven to 10 deliveries a day was big.

However, two years ago for Mother’s Day, Edge said they had 212 deliveries in one day.

“We were slinging all night,” Edge said.

“You work that whole week and then the last day, the last two days are killer,” Valentin said.

“Then they ask are you working on Sunday, I say ‘no, I’m a mother. I’m not working on Mother’s Day,” Edge said.

Nevertheless, the two ladies work six days a week to meet the needs.

“This business is strictly customer oriented. People can’t help if they die on the weekend or if they need funeral flowers … you have to do it,” Edge said. “You’ve got to love people … and I’m a people person.”