Monday, November 27, 2006

How To Make Money With Organic Flowers

Gerald Prolman

Call them "extreme roses"; these flowers might tower above the person who receives them.

The roses boast a larger head size - more than two inches high and two inches wide, about twice the industry norm - as well as a higher petal count, a minimum vase life of seven days (compared with about five for standard roses), and unique colors. Red Intuition is light red with streaks of deep crimson, Pink Intuition follows the same variegated pattern, with pale pink and fuchsia and for the traditionalist, there's a classic red.

Gerald Prolman founded Organic Bouquet with the belief that a growing number of consumers want their flowers to deliver two messages: "I care about you, and I care about the earth too."

Making the supreme declaration of love will not come cheap. After all, the flowers require more labor when they're growing and take 100 days to mature - two to three times the industry norm. Plus, the six-footers have to be shipped in special boxes. "You should have seen the expression on the DHL guy's face," Prolman says. "He couldn't believe we had roses that long." Prolman's roses will set you back about $21 a stem, or $250 for a dozen (including shipping). He has already placed an advance order for 100,000 in 2007.

Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers