American Flowers Week, Bethany Little, Central Market, Central Market Poulsbo, Charles Little & Co., Danielle Bennett, grocery store promotions for American Flowers Week, Katie McConahay, Melanie Cherry, New Seasons Market, Oregon flowers, PNW flowers, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, T&C Bainbridge Island, Town & Country, Washington flowers
Thanks to suggestions from my flower farmer friends who sell to two of the Pacific Northwest’s most popular grocery chains, American Flowers Week took center stage in this region’s floral departments at Town & Country Markets and New Seasons Markets.
The chains adopted American Flowers Week as a vehicle to sell and promote locally-grown flowers during the Independence Day holiday week and incorporated our unique American Flowers Week label to alert their consumers about the origin of the flowers on display. In-store signage unique to each chain’s brand and staff members empowered to “own” the message with personality and creativity really paid off.
I hit the road early in the American Flowers Week campaign to see the creativity for myself and the “Buy Local Flowers” message at these stores came through strong and successful. Here are some of the highlights:
Town & Country Markets Inc. is a regional, locally-owned and operated independent grocery company founded in 1957 and based in the Seattle area and participated with American Flowers Week signage and bouquets throughout its six-store chain.
New Seasons Market is a Portland-based West Coast neighborhood grocery with 18 stores in three states and showcased flower bunches, bouquets and mason jar arrangements from Northwest and California farms.
On Wednesday, June 29th, I headed to Portland bright and early to see the floral design entries for the Oregon Flower Growers Association’s American Flowers Week celebration (more on that cool program later this week).
There, I met up with flower farmer Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co., a Slowflowers.com member and a Certified American Grown farm. I love how they took the initiative to do something special and stimulate floral consumption during the week of July 4th! The idea has inspired me to work on similar efforts across the U.S. and has laid the groundwork for even more grocery promotions in 2017.
It was Bethany who called me about six weeks ago and suggested that I develop a bouquet label that flower farmers could use on their grocery and market bouquets. She and her husband Charles Little (past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast) sparked the idea and also pitched it to Katie McConahay, New Seasons Market floral buyer.
We headed over to a nearby New Seasons Market in Portland’s Arbor Lodge neighborhood where buyer Katie and store floral manager Guen Armstrong showed off the signage, product selection and product labeling for American Flowers Week. Katie has a reputation for consistenly supporting Northwest and California flower farms throughout the year. She discussed this philosophy on a past episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast, which you can find here.
From the hand-lettered chalkboard signage to the adorable mason-jars filled with red-white-and-blue California flowers, to the abundant and lush mixed bouquets from farms like Charles Little & Co., Rain Drop Farms and other NW flower farms, the message was clear: We Love Local. New Seasons also promoted American Flowers Week it is weekly circular and online. Check out these photos of my visit — I was blown away by the way New Seasons highlighted American Flowers Week!
On Thursday, June 30th, Danielle Bennett of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and I took a ferry ride from downtown Seattle and crossed Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island where the newly renovated Town & Country Market is at the center of island life. Hat’s off to Danielle and the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market farmers and staff for working closely with Melanie Cherry, the chain’s floral buyer, to craft this special campaign.
Melanie makes sure to stock local flowers from local NW farmers and the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market on a consistent basis, but this week’s effort was even more focused at Town & Country and its sister brand Central Market.
Check out the gorgeous American Flowers Week signage that T&C created for all of its stores and the charming display that Denise Johnson, manager of the Bainbridge Island T&C, and her team installed for American Flowers Week.
We also stopped by Central Market in neary Poulsbo, Washington, a large-format grocery store in the T&C chain. The design team in that flower department did an equally beautiful job showcasing local flowers from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market member farms and other Northwest growers.
I know that supermarket bouquets across the U.S. were adorned with our American Flowers Week label because many of our Slow Flowers tribe have posted photos of the beauty delivered to grocery store customers. That’s so cool! But to have huge participation in American Flowers Week from TWO chains is simply fantastic!
The model is here and it will be easy for others to get involved and join in for 2017!