Sourcing Local Flowers
Hi there I'm christina stumble and I ran in smith general manager of farm girl flowers and I'm the founder of farm real flowers in the ceo how many of you are familiar farmer flowers and have you heard of us oh this is wonderful well I'll tell you a little bit about us anyway so I started from real flowers about four years ago to solve some problems in the flower industry the biggest one were was the problem imports over eighty percent of the flowers that are sold in the u s now are imported from other countries when a lot of flower farmers are right here in our neighborhood and they're going out of business at a very rapid rates I wanted to fix that the other problem was waste I had never realized this and you probably haven't either but when you go into a flower shop and you see fifty different options how many do you think so of those fifty you think a lot it's it's about sixty percent sell off of that and the other forty percent yeah are actually thrown out which is really sad beca...
use flowers are beautiful and the fact that they're being thrown out is really sad to me so um I want to figure out like why are they being thrown out and what can we do about it? So I came up with the unique model at primary flowers where we offer one daily arrangement so you don't get a pic with flowers are we have really good taste though so we think really beautiful flowers as you can see here and because we only use when one arrangement every day we use everything that we buy we budget about three percent waste and were actually running under one percent right now so that way these lovely guys are ending up in a compost bin which we're really happy about um and then we have a trademark burlap crap ok, so we use reuse coffee bags from local roast trees to wrap our bow kaysen and then the cubist part is we deliver them in francisco by bicycle courier now we are expanding so for the rest of the area and that's not my bicycle so we get that question all the time so I'll answer that now um but we pray this model we beta tested it in san francisco had really good results on dh so now we're working on expanding nationally hopefully so we're really excited to be here today with philosophy and creative live to show you how to make an attendance ok um or a small bright okay um and a boot near so if anybody's planning a wedding here this is the perfect class for you but you also learn tips I mean you khun use these same tips to make centerpieces and things like that as well s o first I'm going to talk about sourcing flowers so we get this question a lot of where do I find flowers so we're really fortunate here in san francisco we have an amazing flower market here a lot of people don't even know it's right around the corner here it's a couple blocks away it's at sixth and brandon it has some of the best growers around come there and sell their flowers there's amazing wholesalers there as well so if you live here you're really lucky to have that resource here also l a has a great one seattle has a small but really wonderful wholesale growers market there and a few other cities do their new york has a floral district but really the west coast if you live here you're really fortunate so you can just go to a flower mart and find lots of local grown flowers now when you go to the flower market you may think that they're all local there I did when I first even when I was working on the business plan for formal flowers I went to the farm are I thought everything there was all local look at how these amazing flowers and I found out that even there about sixty percent are imported so you have to ask when you go ask the wholesaler grow or what even growers some have some imports there ask them what's local and they'll tell you if you're not as fortunate as us to live in the bay area or in a city that has a great our market, you can go the grocery store so whole foods, you know, if you have, like, smaller grocery stores that really specialize in local, like small foods here, other places even go there, and a lot of them are really great labeling. The california cup flour commission has worked really hard, teo, to get a lot of flowers labeled with, you'll see its little license plate. This is california grown on it. So it's a really easy way to spot local flower, but you can always ask to whole foods will, you know, put usually, if their label, that means they're local, and if they're not labeled, that means that you probably like a seventy year, eighty percent chance that it's not so good with the labeled ones first, but, you know a grocery store and find lots of flowers and even herbs, so we tell people you can like, we use a lot of rosemary and mints and things like that, and arrangements you get these at the grocery store to so also going in your backyard is not a bad thing either, so we'll get to that, but you khun, forage in your backyard and find lots of things. I do that quite often, not far bookcase here, but I used to, um yes, you know, because we're in california, we do have a lot of these options. What about if you are not in california, like, do do you know about whether the other states have this have the same kind of selection? Like what? A whole foods in kansas city have that during the summer months? Definitely that's a great question. So the midwest and the east coast get a little bit colder, you guys now half of the year, you can find a lot better selection than other times. There are flores now, the local farm movement is spreading really quickly, and we're really happy about that and trying to help with that. So we know florists everywhere threat throughout the united states, there's actually been a web site called slow flowers dot com, where you can find floris and almost every state now that uses local flowers so that's a good resource, you could even see if they'll if you're getting large quantities, they might work with you, and they already have deals and relationships with wholesalers, so they probably will be able to help you get local grown flowers, but even like, you know, four to six months out of the year, they're probably importing from california. Because most of the flowers are grown in california, the west coast, florida, grow some new jersey and new york gruesome there's, little farms everywhere, though the amazing you know, the amazing this of google is wonderful where you can find little farms and just call them up in almost every city. I know of a little farm there that they may only grow three different varieties, but they probably got really well on deacon buy directly from them. Usually any other questions about where to find sites that you guys can suggest of good places to buy flowers and bulk that are from the united states, at least. So that's. A great question. We get asked a lot, like from people in other states. How do I get domestic grown us grown flowers? I usually give them the name of a couple wholesalers here like torch eo is a great wholesaler here who will ship everywhere. Torchia and brandon st will both ship everywhere in united states, and they can get you pretty much everything you could ever need. It does cost more to ship, but they have negotiated rate it's with shipping companies that it'll be better than if you were going tio should be a fedex or something. I don't know of a web site that you can just find. Domestic grown products are flowers I call it a product too much I'm sorry I need the flowers anywhere it is on my list to do at some point because we get that question a lot slow flowers has farms on there as well so you confined farms in different areas the flowers dot com we also have a blogger called field to base our website has a growers page that features all of the growers that we work with where you can buy locally grown flowers and we have all their contact information a cz wella za blawg called field to face field to face dot com on that also is all about resource is refining and working with local growers yeah, we showcase on field debase our mission is to find growers in all fifty states as well the showcase eh? So you get to read about you know, growers in you know connecticut or missouri that you never would have heard of otherwise so that's another great resource to find out. Great question. Yeah. Is there any other questions that you can deliver beyond san francisco? Yeah, we actually for the first four years we only delivered within sam cisco seven by seven miles on we just recently a couple of months ago launch bay area ship delivery through a delivery partner I'm it goes we go to napa down to san jose and his far east is brentwood now on. And then we also ship california wide. Right now, our goal is by mother's day, to be shipping nationwide as well. So we're really excited about that.