Is it a cop-out to write a Meet Your Neighbors column about someone that everybody in North Park probably already knows? Maybe we should call this month’s column “Honor Your Neighbor,” because Everbloom Flowers’ Antonio Sebastian is THE go-to guy in North Park for everyone’s events.
In fact, if you’ve ever bought or sold a home with me, chances are you’ve received one of Tony’s arrangements. And while I take pride in favoring local businesses, that’s not the only reason I and other North Parkians keep going back. Just take a look at Everbloom’s Yelp page and you’ll see Tony called out by name, again and again, particularly for his cheerful service and brilliant arrangements.
And oh, are they brilliant! If I’m in a rush I know I can count on finding a ready-made bouquet (at a great price, no less). But when I want something truly special, I can either choose the flowers or just tell Tony what I’m looking for, and he’ll wrap me up something special that’s sure to bring the recipient big smiles.
I asked him how he does his magic, but he just chuckled. Without any formal training, Tony learned all about flowers on the job. He’s been there for 19 years, greeting his customers by name with a smile and his infectious laugh, doling out gorgeous bouquets and sharing tips for prolonging the life of the cut flowers. And when my kids were small, he would make them feel special by throwing in an extra bloom just for them.
Tony is the kind of guy who makes our neighborhood feel like a storybook small town. If you haven’t met him, you can find him at Everbloom in the Ray’s parking lot almost without fail, seven days a week (except on rare occasions when a family member will step in to give Tony a day off).
When you imagine the glue that holds this community together and makes it special, who else comes to mind? I’d love to hear from you — call or email me to nominate a favorite neighbor. If their story appears in this column, I’ll even send you a little gift to say thanks!