Anaheim CA Flowers  Blog by Avante Gardens Florist
15 December 2009

We're a Google Favorite Place

Favorite Place on Google card The buzz about Google sending out Favorite Places packets with window decals to 100,000 of the “most sought out and researched businesses on Google and Google Maps” began last Monday with an announcement on the Official Google Blog. 

Actually, I first read about the Google Favorite Places campaign on Mike Blumenthal’s blog, which covers the ins, outs, ups and downs of Local Search.  (If you are a small business owner who cares about what’s happening on the topic  – and you should - add him to your feed reader today.)

I kept crossing my fingers, hoping we’d get one. I mean… how cool to be called out as a Google Favorite Place among the millions of small businesses in the US.

At Avante Gardens Florist, we’ve worked hard to distinguish our Orange County CA company from the myriad ‘online florists’ (out-of-state call centers) and franchise type flower shops who have a look of sameness. We focus on Local, since that’s where we can best control the quality, uniqueness and service our customers expect… so being found by people searching for a local florist in Anaheim and the surrounding areas is extremely important. We want to actually provide the flowers, not just shuffle orders off to someone else after we take a big commission and fees cut.

Christmas 2008 was especially tough because this time last year, we weren’t even showing in the Google Local business listings. Our flower shop’s identity, a listing claimed a couple years earlier, had been mistakenly merged with the listing of my husband’s school of floral design, which is located next door to our shop. (They teach, we don’t. We deliver, they don’t.) It took months for us to get the two companies separated and for our shop’s LBC listing to reappear.

Fast forward to Monday… a stack of mail looking like advertisements… and there it was, “Congratulations! You’re a Favorite Place on Google” right on the front of the envelope. (Yes, I did stroll through the shop singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”Google Favorite Place envelope

Miriam of the SEO Igloo blog thoughtfully queried the potential reasons why a visitor might scan one of the Google’s Favorite Places posters (which was placed on our front door about 5 minutes after the envelope was opened) and all I can say is an echo of Blumenthal's comment to her post:

“They are giving a nice recognition to those folks that have been both active in the LBC and have benefited from…ie their supporters. They are more likely to sing its praises than most.”
So I’m singing. (BTW, also add Miriam’s blog to your feed reader. She’s a fabulous writer covering Local Search.)

Gotta say though, I was hoping for a bigger poster,

Avante Gardens Florist at Christmas 









but we’re tickled with the one we got.

I know of one other florist in Orange County receiving the designation, Everyday Flowers in Tustin, whose owners Eric & Linh Shaw also hold the same philosophy we do: focus on being a uniquely Local florist.

Via FlowerChat, an online community for professional florists, the following local flower shops have also been name Favorite Places:

Central Square Florist, Cambridge MA

Powdersville Wren Florist, Piedmont SC

Maine Bride, Portland ME

Bloom'in Bee, Aurora CO

Coleman Florist, De Witt and Syracuse NY

Chez Bloom, St. Louis Park MN

Affairs to Remember, Melrose MA

Avenue Gardens Florist, Wilson NC 

Flowers From The Rainflorist, Sunrise FL

Bloomers Floral Design, Wilmington NC

Harkins the Florist, New Orleans LA  

Smith's Flowers, Midland MI

Ferrari Florist and Gifts, Santa Cruz CA

Design Perfected, Denver CO 

Flowers By Karen, Monroe WA

Herndon Florist, Herndon VA

Debbie's Bloomers, El Paso, TX 

Millinocket Floral Shop, Millinocket ME

Sprout Flowers, Worcester MA

Mioux Florist & Greenhouse, Carlysle IL

Blooms on the Squaer and C's Florist, Carrollton TX

The Garden Gate Flower & Gift Shoppe, Cedar Rapids IA

Sherry's Flower Shoppe, Orland Park, IL 

Chappell's Florist, Burlington VT 

Thornapple Floral, Middlevale MI 


To read more about how local businesses might make the Favorite Places list, be sure to check out Matt McGee’s Small Business SEM blog (and definitely add his blog to your feed reader, too.)

I haven’t been able to scan the window decals bar code yet and am offering a free dozen long stem roses arrangement to the first visitor who can read it with an Android or iPhone, so come on down!  We’re also offer a free gift to anyone who scans the decal between now and January 31. 

And a big thanks! to Google and the users who put us on the Favorite Places list.

(florist list updated 1/13)

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# You’re a Favorite Place? Now Promote It said:

PingBack from

15 December 09 at 11:39 PM
# Jeanne Ha said:

That's sooooooo cool!

I love your shop and your marketing efforts, and your designs.

16 December 09 at 7:28 AM
# avenue gardens florist---wilsonNC since 1931 said:

Thanks for posting the google fav info.  Little confusing for me just a small Florist in Wilson NC but we enjoy learning about the changes happening and how they affect our Industry.

Thanks for helping us all understand this better!

16 December 09 at 12:50 PM
# David Mihm said:

Cathy, I like your poster idea WAAAYY better. :)  We should see if we can get a custom "FatHead" poster cut out in that shape & sell them to Google :)

16 December 09 at 1:00 PM
# avantegardens said:

@Jeanne - thanks!

@Avenue Gardens - Congrats on making the Fave list, too. So great to hear about local flower shops getting some Google Local/Maps love.

@David Mihm.- I kept reading 'poster' in descriptions but it really is 'decal' size. Brilliant with the FatHead idea - and make the QR code big enough to be read while driving by at 40 MPH. I wanna a piece of that biz. :)  

16 December 09 at 5:18 PM
# Lynn Martin Freeman said:

Well done, and well deserved!

17 December 09 at 6:21 AM
# Sprout said:

This is wicked awesome!  And I think Google should give you one of those red drop markers to put on the roof, that would be the cherry on the sundae!

17 December 09 at 6:26 AM
# avantegardens said:

@Lynn - I'll bet Martin's The Flower People will make the Fave list when it comes to Canada. After more than 100 years in business, your family does a lot of things right. :)

@Sprout - Perfect analogy with the cherry! It would be a hoot to drive up and down streets seeing those balloons above businesses.  

17 December 09 at 7:57 AM
# Avante Gardens - florals unique, Anaheim, CA - Orange County Florist Since 1984 said:

I was working from home on Wednesday and received a call from the shop telling me a photographer from

04 September 10 at 7:01 PM

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