By: Richard Austin
Twigs Florist may be fairly new to Main Street, having opened its’ doors just a little more than a year ago, but it’s actually more of a transplant. Having been a mainstay in Cranston for 10 years, and in Johnston for many years before that, Twigs can trace its’ roots back more than 30 years.
Bobby Bach, a third generation florist, has over 19 years in the industry. Moving an established business is always a challenge, but when the opportunity to relocate to a more “upscale location” presented itself, Bobby didn’t hesitate. Many of Bobby’s loyal customers gladly travel a few miles more to his new shop.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the door at 233 Main Street, was the collection of blown-glass artwork, ranging from bowls to glass flowers, as well as the many paintings on display. The glass artwork is the creation of a local artist, while the paintings are by Bobby.
Bobby understands the comfort that people find in beauty. The artistry of flower choice and arrangement is important, and never more so than when he is creating an arrangement for a wedding or a funeral. In fact, he told me that he feels his funeral arrangements may be one of his most important creations. By fashioning something of transitory beauty, he is able to provide comfort to a grieving family. Flowers are beautiful, and at the same time fleeting, as is life. Bobby’s unique and lovely arrangements remind people of the things they found beautiful in their loved one.
On average, someone will buy flowers once or twice a year. Some florists may not take these customers seriously, but Bobby appreciates all his customers, whether long-cherished clients or first-timers. He provides top-notch service and makes every purchase special. This careful attention to every detail for every customer is why Bobby’s customers are so loyal and why they recommend Twigs to their friends and family.
Although weddings are probably the most profitable job for any florist, Bobby schedules only one wedding a day. Other florists will book as much work as possible on any given day, but Bobby prefers to focus his full attention on a single event, a single bride. Bobby and his staff arrive early, set up, make sure that everyone is totally satisfied, and even take time to instruct the bride and her entourage how they should be holding their bouquets.
Bobby told me that he typically spends two or three hours meeting with a bride to understand exactly what it is she wants. He will explore what her tastes are and what sort of atmosphere and aesthetic she wants to create. He then uses these conversations to fashion just the right creations for the occasion.
While I was sitting at the table in the middle of the shop speaking with Bobby, a customer came in. Bobby immediately pushed back his chair and helped him. It turned out that the customer was a “regular”, who had just learned that his sister was pregnant with her first child and he wanted to celebrate the special event with flowers. I couldn’t help but wonder if someday that child may walk into Twigs themselves to select flowers for a prom or wedding, or maybe even for a child of their own.