Coquitlam Florist
By YP Contributor

Family, Friends and Flowers

Since she bought Coquitlam Florist in 2009, Catherine Polonio has kept the same team in place. “I run my business like a family,” she says with pride. “My staff have been with me since day one.” The secret to her success is simple: building a family-like atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and valued. “One of my staff went on mat leave,” she says, “but she can’t wait to get back. We’re a real family here – we stand behind each other.”

Catherine’s other business secret is the types of flowers she carries – she only uses the best. “I bring in the freshest, best and the highest quality of flowers I can get my hands on,” she says.

I run my business like a family. My staff have been with me since day one. - Catherine Polonio, owner
Coquitlam Florist

Flowers for Every Occasion

Honesty is important to Catherine and it guides everything she does at work. When it comes to the flowers, that means she’ll only sell exactly what a person needs. Catherine chuckles when remembering one teenage male who came in looking for flowers, nervous and flustered because he was trying to impress a date. “I’ve had guys come in and say, ‘It’s the first date; I want to spend $75.’ I’m like, ‘Are you nuts?’” she laughs. “Let’s start off with a $15 bouquet and see how it goes!”

Catherine generally divides business at Coquitlam Florist in half: happy occasion flowers, and not-so-happy occasion flowers. The latter is a particularly sensitive time in bereaved people’s lives and Catherine takes careful steps to help her clients through that difficult time in their lives. She recalls one funeral in particular that she provided the flowers for: “The guy lived in his cowboy boots, so we’re doing arrangements in his cowboy boots, and the family said, ‘Do we need any other flowers?’ I said, ‘Why?...The important part was his cowboy boots. Let’s stick with that and make that the focal point.’”

Coquitlam Florist

A Flower Shop on a Whim

Catherine came to own Coquitlam Florist spontaneously, to say the least. “I was actually a private medic up in the oil patches,” she says, “and I was online one day, saw it was for sale, decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to buy it!’ and bought it, and took over two weeks later.”

It was a pretty big leap from being a medic to owning a flower shop, but for Catherine, living life in a smart and impulsive way is pretty standard – and her husband’s used to it, too. “I phoned my husband and said, ‘Honey, I’m coming home – and I bought a flower shop.’ He said, ‘alright.’” And just like that, the rest is floral history.

Coquitlam Florist
Close menu