Biz - Sci - Tech: Bloomin’ Brilliant
Bringing the buy-local movement to the floral industry
It’s not uncommon to see food trucks puttering around Charleston, leaving behind trails of mouth-watering aromas. But if you pass Roadside Blooms’ 1971 British Bedford van, you might notice another scent in its wake: that of fresh-cut flowers. Toni Reale launched the biz in May 2013 as an offshoot of her and business partner Lori DeNicola’s eco-friendly event planning company, Blue Planet Green Events. Both outfits promote the use of locally grown blooms, an increasing rarity in today’s market.
“Typically, flowers are grown in foreign countries with little to no environmental or labor regulations,” Reale says. In contrast, the flowers you’ll buy from “Ramblin’ Rosie” are fresh off a Carolina farm like Rosebank, Thackeray, Yuri Hana, or even the plot Reale maintains with her husband and business partner, Adam MacConnell. Because they’re working with seasonal availability, the selection varies from week to week. If you order a bouquet online for delivery, you never know what you’ll get: select the size, delivery date, and where it’s going, and they’ll handle the rest.
Want to pick in person? Find Roadside Blooms at a farmers market around town by viewing the schedule at roadsideblooms.com. “People love flowers and our truck,” says Reale. “When they hear what we are doing and see our product, they want to take a piece of it home.”
Picks of the Month
Roadside Blooms’ five favorite flowers that are in season now
Dahlia: Expect to find these hearty stems in a range of colors and sizes. “Yuri Hana Flower Farm grows the most amazing dahlias I have ever seen,” says Reale.
Zinnia: Roadside Blooms raises many of its own zinnias (featured in the company’s logo) in a rainbow of hues.
Gomphrena: “These lighthearted flowers add pops of deep purple, pink, strawberry, and white as well as textural contrast to arrangements,” notes Reale.
Lisianthus: This elegant, bell-shaped bloom resembling a rose looks great with hydrangeas and dahlias.
Feather celosia: Typically burgundy or lime, these whimsical favorites have an unusual feathery texture.