Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It’s Official! Local Color Flowers is moving to Charles Village!

As many of you know, LoCoFlo has been searching for a permanent home for a while now. Our criteria for a space included: close to home, preferably in the city, one story, space for indoor loading and at least 1500 square feet. Apparently, that kind of space is not easy to find. We searched and searched. We were even ready to buy a spot that fit a few of the criteria but was a bad fit in other ways. And then…we found this jewel in Charles Village.

This 2,000 sq/ft warehouse is perfect! It’s 3 miles from home, it has natural light (including sky lights), it’s got space for the locoroll, space for client meetings and classes and work and offices and parties! It’s in a great neighborhood and it’s only 1 block from the year round 32nd Street Farmers Market.

This new space is going to allow us to do all of the things we’ve been talking about and planning for for years. Eventually, we’ll start offering classes, open studio time, parties, a speakers series, a book club, market morning breakfasts and more!


Now, before I get ahead of myself, let me say, we are going to have to do several months of work to get it ready. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to move in sometime close to the end of the year. If things going slower than expected, maybe early in 2013.  In the meantime, I’ll do a twice monthly post here on the blog to keep you updated on our progress.  You can also follow-us on Facebook where we’ll post updates and follow-us on Pinterest where we’ve been collecting inspiration for the space.

It may not look like much to you now, but we’re dreaming big! (or at least better!)


This is a huge step in the life our business. From our early days of working in my dining room, to working in the back of the Michael Group’s offices, to working in our Hampden garage studio, to buying this building which will become our permanent home. We are so grateful and excited and overwhelmed! Thank you to everyone who helped us get to this point. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you at the Grand Opening!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

You Deserve A Bouquet Today Contest Winner: The Team at the Baltimore CASH Campaign

cash logoThe Baltimore CASH Campaign is an amazing non-profit whose mission is to “provide working families access to the tools and services needed to maximize their earning dollars.” One of their most popular and needed services is free tax preparation for low-income individuals. These services insure that low-income do not have to pay the high cost of paid tax preparers and that they benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit.

One of their tax volunteers nominated the team at the Baltimore CASH Campaign to win March’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” contest. Eric wrote:

“The Baltimore CASH Campaign does important work all year as educators and advocates for personal financial empowerment. Sara and her team especially deserve flowers for all the hard work they put in during tax season this year.”

Congratulations to the Baltimore CASH Campaign staff (and volunteers on a job well done! Local Color Flowers is proud to be able to say thank you  for making a difference in the lives of those you serve.


Francesca, Sara and Meghann receiving a beautiful bouquet of locally grown flowers as the winners of LoCoFlo’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” contest.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Beginning and An Ending in Buffalo

I grew up in Buffalo. South Buffalo to be exact. When I was 5 or 6 my family moved from a small apartment into my Gram’s house and she moved into our apartment. It was like we traded. When my gram lived in our house, she planted these tulips out front. They were sent to her from my Uncle Terry, when he was in stationed in Turkey.

I was amazed that they came back every year. I loved getting down on my knees and looking inside of them and seeing their weird, black, spikey innards. I remember picking them (and getting  in trouble). You might think they’re not much to look at now, but they were the first flowers I fell in love with.

photo (1)

I’ve lived in cities my whole life. Buffalo, San Jose, San Francisco and now Baltimore. It wasn’t until I moved to Baltimore and had a little rowhouse garden that I started thinking about flowers. It must have been serendipitous. My favorite wedding gift was a big bag of tulips bulbs from Eric’s great aunt Mary Dell. We planted them immediately in our little patch of backyard soil.

My mom is selling our house in Buffalo. The house I lived in for 21 years. The house she grew up in as well. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m sad. I’m not sad. I still have friends and family in Buffalo. I have great memories of our house on McKinley. And I have this picture of my gram’s tulips.. I can’t help but think that this little plot of urban beauty is part of what  inspired me to choose the path I’m on. Funny how much flowers (and mother’s and grandmother’s) can make a difference in your life. I realize that now and I’m grateful.

Locavore Weddings!

Find-Flavor-Web-Ad-12SummerI’m so excited that Local Color Flowers is featured in Flavor Magazine’s article on Locavore Weddings. When I actually saw the magazine recently I was even more thrilled! It’s beautiful, inspiring and a real celebration of the wonderful offerings of Maryland and Virginia.

Buying local for weddings and events is not a trend. It’s not a fad. It’s actually part of an overall lifestyle that celebrates home cooking, pride in your hometown, real relationships with farmers and small businesses and a desire to incorporate that commitment into all aspects of your life, including your wedding.

I loved reading about some of my friends from Wollam Gardens as well as learning about other great vendors that focus on providing local products and services for weddings and events. And while I’m not trying to make it all about ME-I was happy there was a focus on flowers in the article. Often times, flowers seem to take a back seat to produce, meat and wine. I’m glad the folks a Flavor highlighted so many great growers/designers using local flowers.

Here’s what they wrote about flowers!

“Local flowers can diminish your environmental impact even further. At Local Color Flowers in Baltimore, owner Ellen Frost works only with Maryland and Virginia growers to assemble her arrangements. Inspired by Amy Stewart’s book “Flower Confidential,” which uncovers the complex and environmentally grueling international flower trade, Frost instead supports local growers, eliminating weeks between the moment a flower is pulled from the earth and the moment it touches a bride’s hands. Because Frost visits so many local growers each week, she’s able to provide significant variety. Even winter produces interesting textures of greenery, branches, and berries. She also provides couples with flowers in bulk and hosts DIY flower parties to teach attendants how to make their own bouquets.

Centerpieces can outlive the wedding weekend: “One of my couples did a lot of flowering bulbs, potted herbs, and succulents on the tables,” Frost says. “When the wedding was over, they took them home and planted a wedding garden in their yard.” If your flowers are cut, ask your florist to help you donate them to a local hospital or senior center.”

In addition to the article, Flavor has created a Locavore Wedding Resource Guide. This is a great place to find vendors and businesses for your upcoming wedding or event. Check it out!

Thanks Flavor Magazine!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Real Weddings: Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and ChuckI have so much to say about Danielle and Chuck’s wedding…one blog post might not be enough!

Chef Beej Flamholz emailed me about a year and a half ago and asked me if I would be interested in working on a wedding with him. He said the clients would be a good fit for us. I met Claudia, the bride’s mom a few months later when we met for the first time to discuss the flowers. Claudia and I hit it off immediately!  Her daughter Danielle was in medical school so she was going to be coordinating the flowers in her place. They wanted multi-colored, vibrant flowers that looked “wildflowry” and natural. They also wanted to help collect antique bottles and jars that would be used for the centerpieces.

As the year of planning progressed, the vision for the flowers became more clear. They wanted a rustically decorated chuppah, a mix of potted and cut flowers and one of my favorite elements of the wedding-a Farm Stand!

As the wedding day approached, our whole team was bursting with excitement. By this time I had met Danielle and Chuck and Danielle’s uber-creative sister Nicole and I was so excited to create a beautiful wedding for them.

Danielle looked so beautiful and happy on her wedding day, I actually cried when I saw her!  She carried a naturally shaped bouquet filled with peonies, ranunculus, astilbe, dusty miller and a mix of herbs. Since Danielle was flexible with the colors of her bouquet (she wanted soft colors and shapes to compliment her dress) we were really able to get creative with what was growing locally that week.

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The ceremony took place on the first floor of AVAM. The bride’s uncle built the chuppah and our talented team of designers decorated it with kousa dogwood, mock orange, peonies and curly willow. We also draped the bride’s granddad’s prayer shawl over the top of the chuppah. It was a beautiful, sacred place for Chuck and Danielle to get married.

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

After the ceremony guests enjoyed a beautiful farm to table dinner from Chef’s Expressions and Chef Beej Flamholz. I’m not just saying this-the tables looked AMAZING! I seriously cried when they were all decorated and ready for guests to arrive (I cried a lot at this wedding). Each detail came together perfectly-the vintage glass, the barn wood boxes, the apothecary jars…it was a perfectly miss/matched collection that looked wonderful together.

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

Long farm tables mixed with round tables added to the visual interest in the room.

The Wedding of Danielle and ChuckThe Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck  The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

And then…there was the Farm Stand! In lieu of a traditional favor table, we created an authentic Baltimore Farm Stand for Chuck and Danielle’s guests to “shop” at the wedding was over.

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

We filled the stand with uniquely Baltimore treats!

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck  The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

Lucy and Amelia black eyed susan seed bombs were a big hit as were individual packs of Zeke’s coffee and jams by Infused Spreads.

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

Nick’s Brand Backfire spices went fast as did the local strawberries, honey and McCutcheon sodas.

The Wedding of Danielle and ChuckThe Wedding of Danielle and Chuck 

It was a great way to celebrate a couple who wanted to highlight the local goodness Maryland has to offer.

I was exhausted, but so joyful when this wedding was complete. I felt so proud to be part of this amazing team, so honored to be part of Danielle and Chuck’s wedding.

This was truly a team effort! Thanks to LoCoFlo’s amazing team of designers, farmers market/thrift store shoppers and venue setter-uppers! Thanks to to the growers who provided thousands of stems of locally grown flowers for this wedding including Seaberry Farm, LynnVale Studio, Wollam Gardens, Farmhouse Flowers and Plantmasters.

Thanks to the super-talented Beej Flamholz for pulling everything thing together. Beej is an amazing chef and his planning skills are to be commended.

Thanks to Eli Turner Photography for these spectacular photos…which…as you can probably guess…made me teary-eyed when I saw them. To see more photos from Danielle and Chuck’s wedding, you can check out Eli’s blog and our flickr page.

Finally, special thanks to Chuck and Danielle and their families. You were truly a joy to work with!  Congratulations!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Worth the Drive

photoThis past Tuesday, like most Tuesdays, I got in the LoCoRoll and drive the 35 miles to Chevy Chase, Maryland. I don’t love driving, but I’m always loaded up with a good audio book to listen to. For the past few weeks, I’ve had Keith Richards 22 CD autobiography called Life to keep me entertained.

When I arrive in Chevy Chase I try to find a parking spot-usually behind this Chipotle that has free parking. There I wait for Bob Wollam’s beat up mini van to arrive. When he arrives, we open up the sliding door to his van to check out this week’s offerings from Wollam Gardens. Each week the van if full of amazing flowers, foliage, branches and berries. Some things I order in advance, other things I choose just because he’s got them and they look great! This week I loaded up on dahlias and lisianthus for this weekend’s events.

Then, Bob and I sit on the edge of our respective vans, with the sliding doors open, chatting and working out the bill. This week we talked about lisianthus-what colors he’s growing, why he’s not growing others. We looked at photos of flowers that our friends at Love ‘n Fresh Flowers are growing in Philly, chatted about any new flowers that might be available next week and made plans to check in in a few days to determine next weeks order.

Then I paid my bill and headed back to Baltimore. These weekly interactions with the farmers-sharing stories, catching up and and learning more about flowers is what makes this job so unique…and so much fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Real Weddings: Melissa and Eric

After the craziness of last week (biggest wedding of the year, record heat, power outages), it was a treat to receive some beautiful photos of Melissa and Eric’s late Spring wedding  from Urban Row Photography. Just looking at these photos make me happy!

Melissa was a great bride to work with. We created a classic styled bouquet for her to carry. It was pretty naturally shaped with a lot of texture and shades of “white”. We used peonies (that had a little pink tint), ivory calla lilies, viburnum, gooseneck loosestrife, silvery dusty miller, some pretty oregano and some green poppy pods.



Her girls carried beautiful, brightly colored bouquets filled with peonies, a few early season dahlias, phlox, campanula, astilbe, larkspur and rosemary. They looked awesome with chocolate brown dresses.


Thanks to our growers for these beautiful flowers including Wollam Gardens, Lynn Vale Studio and Farmhouse Flowers!

We’re grateful to Urban Row Photography for these amazing photos. To see more photos from Melissa and Eric’s wedding, check out Urban Row Photography’s BLOG!

Special thanks to Melissa and Eric for allowing LoCoFlo to be a small part of their most special day! Wishing them all the happiness in the world!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Out On the Town at Chef Beej’s Underground Dinner

Trust me when I say, I like to go to sleep early. I especially like to go to sleep early (7pm last Saturday) when we have a busy weekend at LoCoFlo. A few Saturday’s ago, Eric and I got dressed up and headed out on a Saturday night to Chef Beej Flamjolz’s Underground Tasting Dinner!

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never been to a dinner like this (all I kept thinking was that it was going to be like being on Top Chef-which made me feel fancy! ).  The location was kept secret until the day before.  Turns out, dinner was in the old Smith and Hawken building in Mt Washington. It was a beautiful location for dinner-lots of windows, cool architecture and great looking tables filled with…lettuce boxes!

We filled our new barn wood boxes from Farmhouse Flowers up with local lettuce plants from Plant Masters and used them for centerpieces along the long farm tables at the dinner.



It was fun to see see people’s reactions to them! Everyone was touching them, smelling them (we added some herbs in there too!) and even tasting them. It was great to have such “interactive” centerpieces! (FYI our barn wood boxes are available to rent!)


The food at the 5 course tasting dinner was AWESOME! I was afraid being vegetarian that I wouldn’t be able to eat much. NOT true! Chef Beej made some super delicious gazpacho, sopes and even seitan for the vegetarians! The meat options were equally delicious  so said Eric).

I loved everything about the dinner. I loved that Chef Beej explained how each dish was made and where each of the ingredients came from.


I loved that Eric and I got to share the meal with our friends Chef’s Jacki and Tom from Patchwork Catering. It’s a real treat to go out on a Saturday night during the busy season and visit with friends and eat delish food.


For those of you looking for a unique, Baltimore dining experience, I would HIGHLY recommend one of Chef Beej’s Underground dinner’s! You can learn more at Beej’s website. I cant wait for the next one!  Hope to see you there!