Josephine’s Blooming Boutiques: Michael & Raphi of Tonic Blooms

IMG_3421“Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower.”

There’s something about receiving the gift of fresh blooms that will never go out of style, a pure and simple act of kindness that can’t really be matched. And that’s why when Michael of Tonic Blooms showed up at my door on a sunny Saturday morning with a beautiful Farmboy Bouquet and some gorgeous centerpieces for our son’s baptism I was all smiles! I had the pleasure of meeting Corrie of Tonic Blooms at a Cat & Nat event this winter and got to know a little bit about their boutique flower shop and I couldn’t wait to hear more!

IMG_3416Founded by Michael and Raphi on the simple goal of bringing joyfulness back to sending flowers, Tonic Blooms is a blossoming Toronto-based flower shop that boasts the fastest delivery service in the city. Using locally sourced and incredibly fresh blooms, their bouquets are artfully arranged, seasonally inspired and look like they’ve just been picked from the garden. They’ve truly mastered this delightful, simple and beautiful gift giving in all its glory!

May is the perfect time to celebrate new blooms and I’m so excited to share Michael and Raphi’s story and blooming boutique with all of you this month!

 

  1. I’m so excited to be including Tonic Blooms in this series, it kind of seemed fitting to include a flower shop as part of my Bloom series! Can you tell us a bit more about Tonic Blooms and how this blooming boutique came to be?

IMG_3136Michael: So fitting indeed! In short, Tonic Blooms is a Toronto-based flower delivery service. We offer a curated, affordable selection of bouquets, succulents, and gifts delivered on-demand in the GTA in as little as two hours.

 Raphi: I was first drawn to the flower business after I tried sending flowers to my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day through a traditional online service, but the flowers never showed up. As if this wasn’t bad enough, I was stuck on hold with customer service for hours. Turns out I wasn’t alone. I was just so blown away that something so seemingly simple like delivering flowers could be messed up so badly! That’s when I started digging a little deeper, researching the flower delivery business and learning that there was indeed a better way to put this all together. I realized that by changing the business model to control the entire process, from sourcing the flowers, arranging the bouquets and overseeing the delivery, we could offer a flower delivery service that people could rely on.

 Michael: I was skeptical when Raphi approached me with the idea, but he was quite convincing. He was proposing a great solution to a common real-world problem. While we were developing our website, we put up a little splash page offering on-demand flower delivery by text message. We didn’t really think anything would come of it, but it wasn’t long before the phone started buzzing and we made our first delivery. Almost two years and thousands of deliveries later, we are still humbled by the feedback we get from our customers, many of whom have trusted us to do florals for their weddings, showers and corporate events.

 

  1. Sending flowers is one of those ‘age-old’ ways of sending love. It’s classic and I don’t think it will ever get old. Who doesn’t love fresh blooms? You’ve brought about a new twist on this tradition with the on-demand and same day delivery. What made you decide to go with speedy on-demand delivery?

IMG_3418Raphi: One of the biggest issues we had with the dated model was reliability. We often found that when we needed to order flowers – and fast – we were paying a premium for quick delivery when more often than not the bouquet would show up late and the quality would disappoint. It’s such a shame that something so good-intentioned like sending flowers would leave people disappointed. The on-demand delivery we offer really boosts the overall experience for the sender and lucky recipient. Because we offer a two-hour window in the city, you don’t have to ruin the surprise by asking your recipient to wait around until 5 p.m. for a delivery. If you know they will be at their desk first thing in the morning, we can get your flowers there to start the day off right – no problem!

 Michael: We live in a fast-paced society, hence the need for on-demand everything. By controlling every aspect of the delivery process – from sourcing the flowers, to arranging the bouquets, to dispatching the orders – we are able to guarantee a high-quality product that arrives exactly when our customers expect it.

 

  1. As a lover of all things floral and of course, gifts that come to the door, I can honestly say that gifts coming to my door always make my day! What’s it like to be a part of the gift giving service?

IMG_3150Raphi: I worked in finance for many years and it definitely took its toll. It was difficult leaving that successful career behind but I couldn’t be happier about making the move, even though it was a risky one. It may sound corny, but there is seriously nothing more rewarding than making someone’s day. 

Michael: It’s so incredible being in an industry where people trust us with some of the most significant moments in their lives. We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to our clients and they really appreciate the special care and extra attention we give them. The amazing feedback we get from both the senders and recipients really make it all worthwhile.

 

  1. There are some stunning bouquets on your website and social media platforms! And your signature denim wrapping is so different! I love it! What made you decide to add this extra feature?

IMG_3140Raphi: The denim is like our Nike swoosh; it’s how people know they just received Tonic Blooms. We wanted Tonic Blooms to have a strong brand identity and the signature denim wrap is one of the small things that sets us apart. It’s just a simple detail, but it’s these little things that show thoughtfulness, and it really elevates the design.

 Michael: We liked that burlap look that’s been pretty trendy as of late, but we wanted to be different – not trendy. We sourced a bunch of different fabric and ribbon samples and after countless hours of debate, finally settled on the denim and twine. It looks so good with the flowers and we knew it was the missing piece to the Tonic Blooms brand.

 Raphi: That and we love how we can say that our flowers wear jeans!

 

  1. Bouquets can be complicated, I know this only because I’ve tried to put them together and learned very quickly that this truly is an art form. What are some of the inspirations for your bouquet designs? What are some of your favourite flowers to work with?

 IMG_3172Michael: Flower arranging is definitely an art form but we try to follow some basic guidelines that help us focus our designs. When designing, our inspiration can really come from anywhere, including the flowers themselves!

Raphi: The seasons are also a big source of inspiration, but we don’t want to do the typical Fall colours or Christmas flowers; we definitely put our own spin on things.

Michael: The ranunculus is definitely my favourite flower. Watching it bloom is really an amazing thing, and when you add them to an arrangement, it transforms daily. Tons of people love peonies but I would take a nice peach ranunculus over a peonie any day.

 

  1. Farm to vase is such an awesome thing! The blooms I buy at the farmer’s market are always my favourite! What made you decide to focus on farm florals? Does this have an impact on the designs you develop in terms of season?

IMG_3156Raphi: Farm flowers are simply the freshest, and the fresher your blooms are the longer they last. It’s really a no-brainer! We support our local growers and give our customers the highest quality blooms possible.

 

Michael: Working with local growers means changing up our bouquets based on seasonal availability. We let the seasons inspire us so we try and work with what’s around us, and there’s lots to choose from. We are lucky here in Ontario.

 

  1. Tonic Blooms is such a beautiful boutique with a fantastic twist on a traditional service. What are your hopes for the future of the company?

IMG_3152Raphi: We’re so happy with where we are today, which would absolutely not be possible with the continued support of our customers. It’s amazing how many lives we have touched here in the GTA and we couldn’t be more grateful, but we would love to be able to expand nationally and reach even more people. 

Michael: We started as purely an on-demand flower delivery company, but it’s the events side of the business that is really starting to bloom! We hope that Tonic Blooms Events becomes a household name and we can continue to help people bloom their events and special occasions for years to come.

 

 GIVEAWAY!

IMG_3154I’m so excited to partner with Tonic Blooms for an amazing Mother’s Day Giveaway! Tonic Blooms will be giving one lucky winner a Farmboy Bouquet just in time for Mother’s Day. Treat yourself, or share this amazing gift with the mama in your life. 

Enter the giveaway tonight Here!

 For an extra entry follow Josephine: a Creative Life blog (follow button on the top right sidebar)

 Good Luck and Happy Mother’s Day

 

Xo

Vanessa

 

*Disclosure: Companies featured often sponsor my posts. If I love the company I am more than happy to share them with you!

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