Debra Prinzing

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Episode 290: New Models in Regional Floral Wholesale with Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange and Nichole Skalski of Sonoma Flower Mart

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Christine Hoffman, of Foxglove, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Christine is launching the new Twin Cities Flower Exchange [photo by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine]

Nichole Skalski (right) of Sonoma Flower Mart, with Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Farm, one of her primary flower suppliers [photo by The Press Democrat]

Good news for farmers and florists in the Twin Cities!

I’m so happy today to focus our attention on what’s happening in the Slow Flowers world of floral wholesale.

I’ve heard from a number of you around the U.S. who are in various stages of exploration, evaluation or actual planning to create a hub around local flowers in your marketplace.

Yet it’s easier said than done and there are several models to consider. There is the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market example — a true producers’ cooperative with the straightforward motto: farm to florist.

And there are groups of farmers who join together to sell collectively, such as Fair Field Flowers in the Milwaukie-Madison, Wisconsin area, which has a farmer-fun shared sales & delivery service.

Teasing Foxglove’s Instagram followers with a promise of local flower news!

Today’s two guests and their businesses are based on a single ownership or partnership that operates for the good of the community, but these are certainly not co-ops.

You’ll hear from Christine Hoffman, founder of the new Twin Cities Flower Exchange, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and from Nichole Skalski, partner in Sonoma Flower Mart, based in Sebastopol, California. Both are past guests of this podcast and both have updates to share.

First up, I’m excited to reintroduce you to Christine Hoffman, owner of Foxglove, a floral design studio that evolved from her successful retail store Foxglove Marketplace. Christine was a guest of this podcast about two years ago when I visited her in St. Paul after being part of Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Art in Bloom program.

Since closing her retail store, Christine has continued to design and teach. Her website sums up her philosophy beautifully. She writes:

As the Twin Cities first exclusively local and chemical-free florist, Foxglove is more than just a flower studio. I am a slow flowers advocate striving to form a strong community of sustainable flower farmers, small business owners, and folks who care about supporting these mindful endeavors. By providing a local, sustainable option to traditional flowers, putting a premium on collaboration, and reaching out to the community, I hope to foster change.

Hear from Christine about her new venture, which will bring regional flowers to Twin Cities Flower Exchange every week . . . housed at The Good Acre, a nonprofit organic food hub that incubates local food businesses — and NOW, local flowers! Watch Christine’s social feeds for images of opening day, June 7th.

Here’s how to follow along on her journey.

Find Foxglove/Twin Cities Flower Exchange on Facebook

Follow Foxglove/Twin Cities Flower Exchange on Instagram

Discover Foxglove/Twin Cities Flower Exchange on Pinterest

Check out Foxglove/Twin Cities Flower Exchange on Twitter