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Two Saints Named maybe a Third


Two Saints named Valentine, maybe even a third Valentine? We do know now that everyone wants to honor St. Valentine on his special day. One of the saints of the second century was Valentine of Roma. The other is Valentine of Terni and third saint was martyred in Africa. History is not clear on the reason that Saint Valentine (I, II or the III), is the patron of love but the modern world celebrates his day, February 14, with tributes to the loves of their lives.

   "Valentine's Day is the busiest time of the year for a florist," said Sunshine Flowers & Gift's owner, Diane Fisher. "We start work at 7 am open at 9 am and stay open to 8 pm on that day. Sometimes later if the customers still come in or telephone for orders," she said.

   At the present time, the shop has two full time designers, Linda and Georgette. Diane's sister Pat waits on the customers and does computer work for the business. Diane is in the design room, behind the cash register when needed and busy with the arrangements. Jim, as the fastest and best florist delivery man, delivers all over New Jersey and surprises many recipients with the beautiful arrangements from the shop.

    "On Valentine's Day, we have an extra ten people and three trucks out on the road," Diane said. 'Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas are some of the other busy days, but on Valentine's Day, customers request delivery specifically on the "Sweetheart's Day", not the day before or the day after," she said. Other holidays are spread out over a few days.

  According to some rose experts, Red roses mean "romantic love" and are the most popular and the traditional choice. White, yellow, pink, peach, and hot pink roses and the reds are ordered from three different wholesalers in the tri-state area and sometimes from Florida, California and South America if needed.  White roses signifying "purity" lend themselves to displays of reverence and humility. The meaning of yellow roses is joy and friendship. Peach roses can be used to signify sympathy or gratitude. Pink and light pink roses show feelings of admiration. When the flowers arrive at the shop, the flower arrangers remove all the thorns and lower foliage, and then they condition the flowers to keep them fresh and long lasting.

     Sunshine adds different ferns, plumosa and baby breathe to the custom-made arrangements .Balloons, teddy bears and other additions to the bouquets are available.   In addition to the beautiful flowers and plants on the main floor, customers can step upstairs to an "upper room", where Yankee Candles are on display as well as many other delightful gift items for sale. Throughout the shop, exquisitely designed Enesco Angels seem to float on the shelves. Bearington Bears are ready and waiting for you to bring them home.

   Diane and husband Bill grew up in Gloucester City attended Gloucester Catholic High School and are the  proud owners of Sunshine for the last 18 years after buying the property at 2 N. Broadway from a Mr. Funk, the previous owner. They have been married almost 41 years, with two daughters and three grandchildren. Diane's parents, Don and Anna Reddy were also born and raised in Gloucester City.

    When the Fishers visited Alaska, Diane said they were pleasantly surprised to see how big and gorgeous the flowers were that grew there.  "The colors were so vibrant because of the extra hours of sunlight during the summer solstice," Diane said.


"We will positively take lots of photos of tropical flowers when we go through the Panama Canal and while visiting the Caribbean in the future," Diane said. Birds of Paradise, Anthurium, Ginger, Protea and lovely Orchids are some of the pleasantry that the Fishers are hoping to gaze upon and partake of their flowery aromas. They will come back with additional, exciting ideas for their shop.

   Diane will be too busy to traditionally celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner. But, she certainly will be surrounded by more flowers than the rest of us. "My present to my husband will be "a loving pat on the back". We'll celebrate after all the orders have been filled and the customers are satisfied .I still make sure that the girls in our family are presented with their floral tokens of love," Diane said.

  "Unless requested, we do not call ahead to tell recipient of the delivery. We do not want to spoil the surprise," Diane said.

   If the government comes through with rebate checks for the tax payers, use some of the extra cash and spend it right in your neighborhood. What could be nicer than "saying it with flowers"?

Call 456-0324 and order early for the best Valentine selections. Sunshine Flowers & Gifts is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays 9am to 2pm.

Related: Buy Local/UEZ