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ShopLocalSD: Che Bella

Che Bella Florist in East Village.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

In a world where Facebook, Twitter, email and text are many people’s most consistent contact with others, the simple act of giving someone flowers still has so much meaning. Whether for someone who’s sick, a bouquet in the hands of a budding bride, a birthday orchid, an anniversary arrangement, a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day or a single stem for a job well done, giving flowers is the symbolic gesture of love.

Downtown in the East Village, and inside the old Carnation building, aka Re-incarnation, Che Bella offers as many choices of the love gesture a giver can think up.

Clean lines and seasonal elements.
Photo by Rebekah Sager

The majority of Che Bella’s business comes in the form of working with some San Diego’s hottest designers and decorators. In great demand for their contemporary, clean lines and seasonal elements, their creations are true show stoppers. Che Bella was the florist used to open the W Hotel, The Ivy and Tower 23. On a daily basis, wherever there is a floral component needed, Che Bella is usually there.

Che Bella is a family-run flower shop owned by Carla Bassi, Jim Bassi and their daughter (and mom-to-be) Thea Helbock.

“When you buy from us, we care about what we send out. We have a very Zen respect for the client, and for the flowers as well,” says Carla.

Since Che Bella’s move from Little Italy to the East Village a year ago, between the economy and online shopping, the Bassis say their store and many local florist’s have been hit hard. According to the Florist’s Review, consumers purchasing flowers has gone down by 20 percent in the last two years, and over 50 percent of flower shops nationally have closed.

“People tend to circle the wagons in hard times and flowers aren’t a necessity. Only in the last few months has business started to trickle back in,” says Bassi.

With huge sculptural arrangements, trees, orchids and green plants aplenty, Che Bella is a blooming, blossoming, explosion of color and beauty. The dichotomy of the concrete, metal, and glass structure of the renovated warehouse with the softness of the plants and flowers inside, makes Che Bella a delightful store in which to shop and browse.

In addition to working in the store, the Bassis also live in the loft space upstairs. With a vantage of the store below, Carla Bassi says she wakes up every morning and looks down at her little store/home and feels great joy.

Che Bella sets itself apart from other florists with the expertise, care, and attention they pay to every order. “When our customers send an arrangement to someone, they are sending a statement and that means something to us,” says Bassi.

Details »
  • City: San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: 619-232-3193
  • Name: Che Bella
  • Address: 1037 J Street