For 31 years, Larry Federico has been beautifying homes and special events with his floral designs. For 29 of those years, Federico's Family Florist (815 Focis St., Metairie, 837-6400), opened in 1976, was a fixture on Canal Boulevard in Lakeview. But when the shop flooded with 9 feet of water after Katrina, Federico and partner Kenny Thone relocated the business to its current home just off Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie -- and customers, new and old, were quick to find the spot.
"We were able to get the Lakeview crowd back because we're so close to where we were, and we picked up a lot of Metairie clientele as well," says Thone.
"We serve customers throughout the city," adds Federico, who, inspired by his grandmother's love of floral design, began honing his craft as a child. "We have clients from Uptown, Metairie, Harahan and River Ridge."
Customers know Federico's for the discriminating arrangements that it regularly supplies for weddings, funerals, parties, churches, charitable organizations, Mardi Gras balls and other occasions, and for its special values such as a dozen roses for $6.50. They come in a variety of colors and arrive fresh on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Federico's party arrangements (its classic fishbowl full of roses is frequently ordered as a centerpiece) are reasonably priced as well, starting at $15. The shop also does a steady business with seasonal and holiday arrangements and offers plenty of ideas for designs with a local flavor. Fleur de lis, football themes and Mardi Gras motifs are all popular.
But flowers aren't the only reason loyal customers keep coming back. There's also Romeo, Federico and Thone's 7-year-old miniature poodle/flower shop greeter with an impressive pedigree (his sister won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2000) and a gentle disposition. When Romeo's not busy observing behind-the-scenes activities, such as the work of designer Wendy New and delivery man Darren Ragas, he's often out front greeting customers with an inquisitive, friendly wag and generally being every bit as appreciated as the blossoms around him. Says Federico, "People get a lot for their money here."
- Larry Federico and Kenny Thone pictured here with their poodle, Romeo see to it that everything at Federico's Family Florist is customer-friendly and coming up roses.