Rising gas prices impact Barrie floral shop

The brightly coloured sunflowers, carnations, and lisianthus at Julie Claire's studio aren't enough to lift her spirits as the florist faces some tough decisions because of the rising prices at the pumps.

Gas prices are predicted to hit a historic high on Thursday, squeezing her Wild Lotus Floral Design business in Barrie.

Claire needs to pay delivery drivers more to cover their climbing gas receipts, leaving her questioning what to do.

"Do we raise our prices? Do we take a hit?" Claire asks.

"We don't want to lose any customers, so it's kinda hard for us to make that decision, but we don't want to lose our drivers."

Claire says if gas prices go much higher, she may consider stopping delivery altogether or outsourcing to a delivery service.

Higher pump prices mean Claire is paying more to send flowers out and also to bring them in. The cost of gas is driving freight shipping prices up.

"They've gone up probably about 40 per cent, so it's a significant cost, and it continues to go up," she says.

Pandemic demand for a bouquet to brighten someone's day has also proved challenging for Ontario florists.

"People can't go see their family as much as they would want to, so they are sending flowers," Claire explains. "We are facing product shortages because of it also.

So it's a really good thing and a bad thing at the same time."

Experts predict prices at the pumps across Ontario to hit just shy of $1.45 Thursday.