Getting up very early three times a week is the core of my life and my business. Being able to see and choose from what just arrived either off a delivery truck, came out of that box or cut from that field, is the best part of my day.
Freshly Cut Florist
It was 1982 when I noticed a new foundation being laid in a vacant lot that was previously owned by the produce market in my neighborhood. This small pie shaped wedge was home to a big billboard, empty cardboard boxes that produce arrived in, and best of all the huge pumpkin patch in October. They had outgrown their current location and were moving across the street to a much larger, vacant store. My husband and I stopped and I started asking a long list of questions about the upcoming building. By the time we drove away I was committed to a new adventure and was soon to open my very own flower shop.
I said it was my neighborhood because I already had a little history here. Previously I had worked at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery and loved shopping in the small food stores in the surrounding neighborhood. I really knew nothing about running or owning my own business, but with the help of my husband, we rolled up our sleeves and came up with a plan. My years at BHN got me hooked on growing perennials and deciduous flowering shrubs that grew best in our garden at home. One thing led to another, a class here and there, and Freshly Cut became a reality.
The flower business was much different in my early years than it is now. Grocery stores did not start selling cut flowers till the 90s, now all grocery stores do. And the San Francisco Flower Mart with its growers and wholesalers was male dominated. Women worked in the flower shops but men did the buying and owned the businesses. These days I think it is starting to reverse, we girls rule the roost.
When I was a kid my Dad owned a packing shed in Lodi California, so the privilege of having seasonal fresh produce was special to me. He would come home with wood crates filled with asparagus in the Spring, followed closely behind with cherries, apricots and peaches, and ending his year with table grapes. We were a lucky family.
The California Flower Market in San Francisco has been at the center of the wholesale flower industry in the Bay Area for over a century. Founded as a place to bring locally grown flowers to market by Japanese immigrant flower growers in 1912. Today the market is a bustling hub of early morning activity with local growers selling a wide variety of seasonal blooms and wholesalers selling flowers from around the world and shipping locally grown flowers to the world.
I’m always seeking the freshest and best flowers available, the kind of flowers that my client’s can’t get from any other venue.
Today Freshly Cut has grown into the best flower shop in Berkeley with a selection of top quality flowers second to none. Because of the many personal relationships with growers, wholesalers and importers formed over time, I am able to offer the best that they grow. Very often every season only has so many special flowers available and it is because of these relationships that I get the best of the best.
Just wanted to write a note of thanks for the creation of such an exceptional bouquet. Diane received the flowers today and she sent a picture: absolutely breathtaking! My boyfriend and I live across the country and really wanted to send something special for her birthday—the bouquet of flowers you made totally fit the bill. I am now in nursing school but I was in organic farming for seven years; sweet peas were always my favorite flower to grow and my favorite to smell out in the field! So happy to see sweet peas in the mix. Thanks again! Best, Alana