September 7, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Flower Wholesaler


From Left to Right- Allan Nishita, Millie Nishita, and Marty Espe

Flora Fresh is one of the largest wholesale flower distributers in the Western United States. They not only deliver locally in and around the Sacramento area, they also ship throughout California, Nevada, and Oregon. We had the pleasure of visiting this awesome company and took a tour of the facility to see all that goes into receiving and shipping flowers to florists everywhere. For a flower lover, it’s like being a kid on Christmas morning or walking into a toy store. It was incredible to see all that goes into ensuring the freshest product is available to florists and ultimately to the retail consumer.

Allan and Millie, a dynamic brother and sister team along with Marty, run Flora Fresh which is a 6-day a week business that involves a whole lot of teamwork to keep the business running like clockwork. Their customer centered business philosophy, friendly staff, and commitment to quality clearly stood out during our tour of the 20,000 sq. foot facility.

Flora Fresh started in 1984 as a home based business that specialized in grocery store bouquets. Eventually, as competition intensified from international growers Allan decided to reinvent the company that eventually became what it is today.

Most days begin at 5:00 a.m. with staff arriving and beginning the process of receiving, sorting, and processing orders for all of their clients. Doors open at 6:00 a.m. for walk-in florists who need to pick up last minute plants, flowers, tropical, branches, succulents, and hard goods. They also have pre-orders available for florists who choose to pick up their orders rather than have them shipped.


This is only one corner of the room holding all the buckets they use!


Every bunch of roses that arrives at Flora Fresh is processed via the underwater cutting system.


The underwater cutting helps eliminate bacteria and extends shelf life. Once the roses are cut, they are sorted and placed in buckets.

Flowers, greens, and plants arrive daily at Flora Fresh and you can often times find Allan driving up and down the coast twice a week to procure stock personally. He likes doing this as it helps build relationships with his vendors and often times he can get things that no other wholesaler can, which benefits his clients.






Flora Fresh does not sell to the public but anyone with a resale license can purchase from them by filling out some quick and easy paperwork. Customers are more than welcome to pick up or they can have their product shipped to them.

Approximately 50% of Flora Fresh’s stock is all California Grown. They especially love to work with smaller family owned farms that provide unique items like birch bark and seasonal items such as hydrangeas and pods.



California grown miniature Hydrangeas.


These pods are freshly picked from a growers very own pond.

Flora Fresh is also unique in that they have a dedicated cooler that holds Certified California Grown Organic flowers. They initially started carrying these flowers for local chefs but it has been so successful that they often find florists specifically asking to see what they have in stock that week and their product quickly sells out. How cool is that?


Some of the organic California Grown Flowers.


These organic Sunflowers are HUGE!

Recently, Flora Fresh has added to their business by offering hard goods, vases, and décor items that are hard to find and unique. It is located in the same facility, and offers one stop shopping for their customers.



Flora Fresh has a strong commitment to the California Grown movement. Each year, they participate in “AG Day” at the State Capitol where they not only create awareness of the California flower movement but they also involve local FFA high school students. The students create and deliver handmade bouquets to key legislators and hand out hundreds to legislative staff and Ag Day attendees in an effort to promote the importance of the California flower industry.

After our tour it was easy to see why Flora Fresh is so successful. Their commitment to their customers and dedication to California flower farmers is strong. It was inspiring to see how many choices florists really do have when it comes to choosing California Grown flowers for their shops.

If you’d like to get in touch with Flora Fresh feel free to contact Marty Espe at 916-927-9788 or visit their website at Thanks for the tour Flora Fresh. It was awesome!


Love. Flowers. Always.