Friday, February 28, 2014

Buying Local, Making a Difference

Those of you who know us, know we talk A LOT about importance of buying local. The reality is, it’s not just talk. As a small business, we are committed to spending the dollars our clients give us in a way that supports our local growers and our local community.

We wanted to share with you some analysis on our spending this year.


Local Growers: We spent 49% of our income last year on buying flowers, foliage, branches and plants from local farmers. (up from 38% last year!) We purchased flowers from 21 flower farms this year (up from 17 last year)

We’re especially proud to say that 2% of our farm dollars went to farmers inside BALTIMORE CITY! While this may not seem significant…it’s HUGE! This is the first year we have ever had flower farmers inside Baltimore City. Thanks you to all of our growers! We hope to give you even more business in 2014!


growers 2014 1

Locally owned, small businesses: 19% of our total income was spent on small, locally owned businesses. Using our hard earned dollars in our own community is important to us. We love our local business partners including Carma’s, CVP, Charm City Cook, Kinderhook, Chesapeake Wine Company, the Food Market, Apothecary Wellness and many many more.

Local Designer: 15% of our total income went to pay our amazing TEAM! Our designers and delivery helpers are locavores themselves that love Baltimore and love to support local business.

team 1

Chain Stores in our Neighborhood: 12% of our income was spent at chain stores in our neighborhood. While these businesses (Waverly Giant,  Waverly Ace,  Govans Carroll Fuel etc) are not locally owned, they are located in our community and employ local folks.

Non-local business: The last 4% of our income was spent at non-local businesses. Most of this money was spent on vases, our new wreath maker and other floral supplies.

Buying local is an important way to show support for your neighbors and your community. As a small Baltimore business, Local Color Flowers will continue to buy local, support small businesses and farms, employ local designers and strive to make an even more positive impact on our community. 2014 is going to be awesome!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Who Loves You?

Valentine’s Day stops for no snow storm!

We shoveled out way out of the house.


Then we started walking down York Road.


Our team shoveled, drove, walked…




And we made it…just in time… for our first Valentine’s Day pick up of the day!


And if this smile wasn’t enough reason to get here….he brought us treats! Seriously AMAZING CLIENTS!!!


LoCoFlo Loves you Baltimore! Happy V-day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tulips For Valentine’s Day!

By Irene Donnelly

1240548_10151728130894962_1194461292_nValentine's Day is a day of constant motion and excitement in the floral industry.  We happily assist droves of semi-panicked lovers trying to piece together last minute gifts… all in the name romance.  As floral designers we are eager to help everyone find the perfect gesture of love for their Valentine.  For me, I tend to like helping the inexperienced, the procrastinator and the perplexed with their orders the best.  These giddy, mostly new lovers tend to be adorably refreshing and thoughtful.

Of course, not everyone is last minute and inexperienced.  There happens to be a minority of wise, generally older, married individuals who pre-order flowers for pick up or delivery a week or so in advance.  These people seem to realize the significance of the sentiment and have learned the tricks of the trade. Many have burned by long lines, florists running out of flowers and the overall mayhem of V-day shopping.  That being said, I don't want to scare anyone away from facing a floral shop on Valentine's Day, it's really not that bad but it does help to be prepared.

IMG_2546The panic that sets in seems to revolve around not knowing what to buy.  Take my advice. Think about your Valentine.  Are they classic? Earthy? Modern?  Trendy?  Etc.  A good floral designer will be able to execute any adjective into flowers.  Trust the designers and if you're really smart preorder! (order here).

When in doubt…locally grown tulips are sure to please. 

A short history on Tulips:  Second behind roses as the most popular V-day bouquet, tulips are clean, fresh and classy.  They originated as a wild flower in Turkey and were often adorned in Turkish turbans, hence their name. (not because they looked like "Two Lips." )


The bulbs made their way to the Netherlands over four hundred years ago, where they became such a commodity they ended up being an extremely profitable investment opportunity and everyone wanted in.  "Tulip Mania," as it was called, had many of the Dutch buying bulbs in hopes of finding a desirable genetic mutation coupled with a big cash pay out. It was a gamble to grow tulips that had a new trait unique from existing tulips.  If a Dutchman did happen to spring up the next big thing, well…they got sticking rich.  But as we know, playing the stinking rich game doesn't pay off in the long run and usually crashes an economy. It eventually did. 

At Local Color Flowers we will have tulips from Van Dyke Brothers Farm in New Jersey.  While they are the farthest farm from the shop that we buy flowers from, they are still comparatively local when you think about the greater scheme of valentine's day flowers.   (114 miles) In addition to tulips, we'll have the usual hyper local magic we normally have this time of year including snapdragons, paperwhites, flowering branches and locally grown evergreens.

v day bouquet

We will have bouquets of tulips (and other local goodness) ready to "grab and go" at three locations on Valentine’s Day :

The Quintessential Gentlemen located downtown at 31 South Calvert Street from 11am-2pm

Chesapeake Wine Company at the Can Company in Canton from 11 until …the sell out!

Our  shop in Charles Village all day until 7pm. We’re located at 3100 Brentwood Ave. PLEASE call before you come by to make sure we can accommodate your request!

Wondering what the most remarkable and distinguishing fact about the Tulip is? It continues to grow once it's been cut from the bulb.  

That means long after you give your tulips as a gift, your lover will be able to watch these flowers grow taller and taller and higher still.  Other flowers may open and change but no others will grow as dramatically tall.  Isn't that a nice symbolic sentiment to give to your Valentine?  That your love grows?


Sunday, February 9, 2014

What Locally Grown Foliage Looks Like in the Winter

Yesterday, Carling made this beautiful arrangement for a dinner party and posted it on Facebook. We received a comment/question  from a woman who has taken a few of our design classes and is enthusiastic about improving her design skills.

“I was just wondering today if I could mix winter greens with spring flowers? This picture answers the question.”


It was a great comment, and one that deserves some attention. Local Color Flowers is proud to use locally grown flowers in all of our arrangements. What you may not know, is that we also you 100% locally grown foliage as well. In the winter, most of the foliage we can get from the local farms is evergreens including boxwood, magnolia, fir, pine, cedar and camellia along with lots of “sticks” including pussy willow, curly willow, fantail willow, flowering branches and more. On a rare occasion, we can get our hands on dusty miller and eucalyptus.

Our designs are unique because we are designing with what is available locally-flowers, foliage and branches. Using evergreens gives the arrangement a “winter’ feel. Combined with tulips and iris, the arrangement perfectly reflects the season, as we think it should…cold, crisp, green, brown…with the promise of spring ahead.