Last week a few of us from DVFlora had the opportunity to take the winning customers from our 2015 Summer Celebration Program to Sunny California. Over the course of 3 days, we visited 8 growers in the Central Coast, and also spent some time at our Transflora office. We also got the chance to do a little sight seeing along the way.
Our group consisted of 6 DV Employees: Tim Dewey (Purchasing Director), John Burk (DV Grower Direct), Helen Rowan (DV Sales Associate), Linda Francis (DV Sales Associate), Marc Robinson (Transflora Manager), and Jose Escudero (Transflora Quality Inspector), as well as 5 customers:
Georgianne and Kevin Vinicombe – Monday Morning Flowers and Balloons
Christina Lopez – Bergeron’s Flowers
Shannon Guthrie and John Belmonte – A Whole Bunch Flower Market
David Strohmeyer – The Empty Vase
Amy and Bryan Wilkins – Monterey Farms
Doris Gralitzer and Jim Harrison – Doris the Florist
Our first stop on Tuesday, which happened to be International Women’s Day, was the Transflora office located in Oxnard where the group was introduced to Marc, Jose, Maria and Monica (Purchasing staff). We took a tour of the facility and learned about how our product is consolidated, pre-cooled, and loaded on trucks. Then we visited A and M Flower Growers, followed by lunch and a farm tour at Sun Valley. With a bright yellow sun in the sky and some general excitement for seeing the growing side of flowers, we were off to an incredible start!
The second day found us about an hour and a half north of Oxnard, near a town called Lompoc. We visited one of our premiere Gladiolus growers, then stopped at Holland America where we had the chance to learn about their incredible lily growing operation. Finally, we ended up at Oceanview Flowers and had a wonderful tour lead by John Donati and Jana Wilcox. We toured the fields, which were not quite blooming yet, but should be ready for Mother’s Day, as well as a tour of the packing and shipping facility.
On the final day, we stayed close to our hotel to visit a few growers around Carpinteria. If you’re not aware, this area has a rich history of growing flowers that started in 1967 by the Van Wingerden family. Since then they have spawned off and created several farms, many focusing on different types of crops. We had the opportunity to visit Myriad, one of the very few rose growers in the United States, and also Ever-Bloom, who has one of the largest selections of gerberas available in the US (coming soon to Grower Direct!). Prior to visiting those growers, we stopped at Gallup and Stripling along the way and had yet another amazing tour that taught us the seeding and germination process of orchids. Did you know it takes 3-5 years to get a bloom from a Mokara seed….PATIENCE!
We would to thank our wonderful companions who provided us great company on the trip. We covered a lot of ground and had some pretty long days, but each one was along for the ride with smiling faces and curious minds.