I was in Denver last week and I stopped by Associated Wholesale Florist. I had not been in that building for over 20 years.
It is nice to see the McCarthy Group really putting a great effort to rebuild the brand and company. It will be a lot of work since Denver has to be one of the most competitive markets in the USA. The manager Rob Spikol has a lot of energy and I believe he will have great success there.
While I was there, I had a chance to talk to Bonnie Varner, a long time sales person at Associated. Bonnie has been in the flower business her whole life. Her father, uncle and grandfather were carnation growers in Denver from 1949 till 1999.
I grew up on a carnation farm in Brighton which is about 20 north of Denver. We talked about Colorado carnations as big as football mums, and the good old days when they sold their carnations through Denver Wholesale and Davis Brothers. Colorado carnations are now a memory.
I don’t think they are coming back, but for Bonnie and myself, we grew up with carnations and they had a large influence on determining our life paths. We both are, as J Schwanke termed it, “flower lifers”.