Local flower farmer continues business throughout pandemic
SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) - A local flower farmer has been finding new ways to bring beauty to South Central Kentucky even through a pandemic.
Michelle Wheeler, of River Bend Blooms, has traditionally sold to businesses but recently began direct-to-consumer selling dozens of types of blooms, all locally grown.
She says that the majority of flowers heading to florists and showing up in your bouquet are actually imported mostly from South America.
“They’re flown and shipped in dry, and then distributed out on trucks throughout the country to wherever they’re going,” Wheeler explained. “And that’s typically where most florists and grocery store retailers would get their flowers. So we’re trying to establish a new model where these are all locally-grown flowers, and some of the benefits of that are they’re unique flowers that you wouldn’t be able to get because they don’t ship well.”
Wheeler said the pandemic caused the global flower industry to crash, which has actually led to her seeing a 25% increase in business with florists.
Wheeler has been continuing a subscription delivery service directly to consumers, utilizing contactless pickup, and door-to-door delivery to her customers during the pandemic.
“When you’re harvesting them, it’s like opening gifts on Christmas morning,” Wheeler said. “And then to see them in your friends’ houses or in a florist’s bouquet and what they can do with them - and you’re like, “I grew that!” It makes you feel so proud but also so amazed at the beauty in nature.”
What else is on the agenda for the flower farmer is utilizing a recently-acquired 1947 Chevy truck. The bed of the truck is being transformed to carry a variety of blooms from the farm so that customers can pick and design their own bouquet.
In the near future, her hope is to start doing pop-ups with the truck around Bowling Green. To find out when River Bend Blooms will be in a location near you, you can follow River Bend Blooms on social media.
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