Utah Flower Market cultivates cooperative local business

Carlyn Thompson shows the dill she cut that morning. The Utah Flower Market is open every Wednesday in Pleasant Grove. (Payton Pingree)

The Utah Flower Market in Pleasant Grove is a cooperative of local flower growers that come together to sell their fresh-cut flowers every Wednesday from April through October.

Three years ago a few local farmers recognized the potential benefits of working together to sell their flowers, instead of viewing each other as competition, Julie Hall, the market’s president and owner of Maple Bloom Flower Farm, said.

“It’s easy to see each other as competitors because we’re selling a lot of the same flowers and trying to sell to the same people,” Hall said. “But we realized that they wanted more volume than any of us could do individually, so it became really advantageous for us to work together.”

The growers come from 11 local farms. They commented on their love for working with each other every week.

“It’s a synergy that happens. Instead of being competitive it’s cooperative, where we can actually work together,” Joyce Schwartz of Benjamin Blooms said.

Schwartz continued to describe how each farmer contributes to the market with their own strengths and talents — both on the floral and business side.

“We’re all starting to specialize in all the stuff that we grow because we love it,” Carlyn Thompson of Wild Willow Gardens said. “My stuff is the weird stuff. I grow some of the more odd flowers just because I like the experimentation and finding something new.” 

The biggest challenge the flower farmers face has been unpredictable weather, Thompson mentioned. This year’s season came early, so the farmers had to change plans according to when the flowers sprouted.

Danielle Gibbs grows flowers out of her yard for her business The Garden Muse. She is hoping make a profit for the first time this year with the help of the Utah Flower Market, which she said feels like “a little party.”

“I work with women and I love that. There’s just this camaraderie and friendship,” Gibbs said.

Walking around the market, there are beautiful and unique flowers that are not only available for florists, but also the public. Everyone is welcome to come visit the market and purchase some flowers for whatever they need.

According to Hall, customers of the market are impressed by the high quality of the products. Most grocery stores sell imported flowers that are shipped and spend time out of water, causing them to lose quality and even lose their scent.

“We noticed, especially when florists buy from us, they always comment on the quality,” Hall said. “We’re giving them something that’s super fresh. It hasn’t been flown for a week. It’s been picked the day before and it’s going straight to market.”

The market offers a build-your-own bouquet bar where visitors can buy $5 bunches of seasonal flowers, as well as a food truck and soda shop.

The Utah Flower Market is open every Wednesday to florists at 9-11 a.m. and to the public at 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m until October at Grove Station. 

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