Flowers can be a perfect way to add a special touch to significant moments in life, such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, or just to let that special person know they’re loved and on your mind.
Since 1986, Mother Earth Flowers has served as a one-stop shop for those in San Juan Capistrano to drop in and select any arrangements that they need.
Amir Zargar, the store’s co-owner, has prided himself on providing the best possible service and quality to customers and maintaining a flower shop for the community’s benefit.
Those efforts throughout 2022 led The Capistrano Dispatchreaders to award the Golden Horseshoe to Mother Earth as the Best Place to Buy Flowers in town, with Trader Joe’s receiving the Silver Horseshoe.
Zargar fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning a business 37 years ago, along with a friend of his as a business partner. However, the store may not have stayed open without the help of a retired, former flower shop owner who took the pair under his wing.
“We didn’t (know) anything as far as flowers, how to arrange them, how to sell them, how to pick them,” says Zargar, adding: “We opened the shop, and at the time, there were five flower shops in town. I think they all bet on how long we were going to last.”
The older gentleman took the business owners to a flower market in Los Angeles and showed them everything, from how to buy wholesale to designing arrangements.
His help, as far as wisdom and putting together a cooler in the storefront, was crucial to Mother Earth’s long-term success.
Now, the store utilizes a wholesaler in Mission Viejo that Zargar’s partner helps to run, to get the highest quality flowers from places such as the African continent, Ecuador, and Israel. From there, the Mother Earth employees can put anything together from the store website, as long as the flowers are available or in season.
“I try to have a knowledgeable staff, so they can walk (people through decisions) step by step,” he says, adding: “They know what to guide you to. We always have a 100% guarantee, so if you got flowers and you didn’t like it, we (don’t) ask questions, and your money will be refunded.”
Staff don’t argue with customers, Zargar says, as it’s natural for people to have tastes different to what the store recommends. Fortunately for them, disagreements don’t happen often.
He also took the time to attribute Mother Earth’s longevity to women, who often are the ones either receiving the eventual gift or coming in to purchase flowers for other people.
“Most women, they love flowers,” Zargar says with a laugh. “We’re just here to sell to women.”
Another reason he focuses on service is the number of flower shops within a 10-mile radius in all directions.
“If you call me, and tomorrow’s your anniversary, and the anniversary flowers get to your wife at 6 p.m. in the (evening), you’re not going to want to call me again,” he says. “My flowers are being delivered at 10 a.m., 10:30, before even noon, because I realize that it’s important for you.”
People will remember the treatment they receive, Zargar adds as why service is emphasized.
Additionally, the store tries to have the best flowers available, because people can easily notice lower quality. Providing arrangements that last for weeks instead of days is equally important.
“The customer will enjoy it longer, because it’s something that is ambience for your house,” Zargar says. “It’s a sort of luxury.”
As San Juan Capistrano has supported his business for nearly four decades, he has reciprocated the love by providing scholarships for San Juan Hills High School graduates, working with The Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding and local businesses.
Throughout the time, Zargar has put significant effort into being there for his customers by selling high-quality products and being “punctual,” to not inconvenience the client but give them what they need when they want it and how they want it.
“(The guys that started this,) we both had a goal to make it successful no matter what,” he says. “We put a lot of hours into this. We try to find the best, always, because we were taught how to buy.”
In addition, the women who have worked at Mother Earth over the years have pushed the business to be its best, he adds.
“It’s been the story of my life,” Zargar says. “Every business is successful because of all the women behind it.”
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