Debra Prinzing

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Episode 515: Wildflower and Fern’s Sarah Reyes on building an Oakland-based local flower hub supplying retail and wholesale buyers

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Slow Flowers Podcast visits Wildflower and Fern
Sarah Reyes welcomed me to Wildflower and Fern in Oakland, California

I’m so happy to introduce you to today’s guest, Sarah Reyes of Oakland-based Wildflower and Fern. Sarah’s passion for local flowers moves through both retail and wholesale channels. She calls herself a botanical liaison, a term that sums up the role she plays for both customers of her 240-square-foot retail flower shop, which opened in the fall of 2019 at Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall, and for fellow florists who turn to Sarah for her connections to unique, local and seasonal flowers sourced from farms and fields outside of San Francisco.

On the road with Wildflower and Fern

As I alluded, Wildflower & Fern’s cooler and storage space serves a dual purpose. It allows Sarah and her team to process flowers and produce larger designs, and it allows wholesale customers to “shop” from the back-of-the-house — giving even more people access to local, California-grown botanicals.

I featured more of Sarah’s story in a November 2019 issue of Slow Flowers Journal for Florists Review:

Download the PDF here:

Sarah at the Slow Flowers Summit
We recognized Sarah for her four-year-streak attending the Slow Flowers Summit at our recent 2021 gathering (c) Missy Palacol Photography

One more thing I want to mention about Sarah. She is a loyal and passionate supporter of Slow Flowers Society, and she holds the distinction of being the only person (other than staff and speakers) who has attended all four Slow Flowers Summit conferences! This year, Sarah brought her entire team of designers, which was an amazingly generous way to share her mission and passion with them.

You can see photos of Sarah and the Wildflower & Fern shop in Oakland in today’s show notes. I visited there on my drive to Filoli, where the Slow Flowers Summit took place — and it was a delightful way to immerse myself in California-grown flowers and sustainable floral design.

Thanks so much for joining us today as I introduced you to one of our Slow Flowers leaders who has created an important and influential hub for local flowers in San Francisco’s East Bay Area. And thanks to Sarah and the entire team at Wildflower & Fern for welcoming me when I visited. And for bringing your energy, enthusiasm and local flowers to the Slow Flowers Summit! Wildflower & Fern was one of our meal sponsors – sharing even more support for the Slow Flowers mission.

Today is a big day for the Slow Flowers Podcast! It is our eighth anniversary since starting this small but mighty program on July 23, 2013. Since launching, we have produced more than 400 consecutive weekly Slow Flowers Podcast episodes, and those episodes have been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. It’s so fitting that Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern joined me on today’s program, because she embodies the mission and values of the Slow Flowers Movement. Sarah is our final audio-only guest.

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Today, we are launching our new Podcast platform, adding video programming to enhance the audio interviews and conversations you’ve listened to for eight years. You can find the link to watch and subscribe to Slow Flowers Podcast on YouTube and Facebook Live, beginning today and every Wednesday going forward.  It is my goal to introduce you to the faces and voices, the farms, shops and studios — and most of all, the flowers of our community. The audio of each episode will continue to land in your inbox in whatever way you’ve listened before, including iTunes, Spotify and at, and more. Thanks in advance for following me down the Vodcast path! I’m excited to see you there.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers: Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at

Debra Prinzing with microphone
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andree’s work at

Music Credits:

For We Shall Know Speed; Glass Beads; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field