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Last-minute shoppers flood L.A. flower mart

February 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Business was blooming at L.A.'s fashion district Sunday. It is home to the largest wholesale and retail floral selection in the country, and on Valentine's Day, it was a hot spot.His arms were loaded with bouquets of flowers, but Carlos Olague was still on the hunt for more Sunday morning for all the special ladies in his life.

"My girlfriend, my mother-in-law, and I'm looking for one for my mom," said Olague.

The pace was hectic at the California Flower Mall recently, but Sunday, last-minute Valentine's Day shoppers were keeping the vendors even busier. There was plenty to choose from at discounted prices.

"Coming here, you can save up to 70 percent by doing it yourself. You can buy bundles of 25 red roses," said Mark Chatoff, the president of the California Flower Mall. "You can create your own arrangement."

For some people, a full-sized display will really make a statement for the one they love. But even a single flower or simple arrangements are sure to bring a smile on the special day.

"I just want to bring her here so she can pick out what she really likes," said Luciano Perez, a flower mart shopper.

For some couples, Valentine's Day is all about others. Jenny and Mike Schwarz picked out some pretty flowers, but Jenny won't be taking them home.

"We celebrate throughout the years, so why make one day in particular? So, we do focus on our moms and my aunt," explained Jenny.

"It relieves the pressure," said Mike.

Ten-year-old Valeria Flores is making a special delivery to a lot of Valentines.

"My aunts, my grandmothers, I just appreciate them because they always take care of me, and it's just like a small way of saying thank you to them," said Flores.