Who came up with the stemmed gardenia idea?
Kitayama Brothers would love to claim that we created the stemmed gardenia, but we have to give credit where credit is due, to our customer and friend Michael Miyashiro of Rainforest Florist in Honolulu, HI.
Four years ago while I was attending a trade show in Honolulu, Michael advised Kitayama Brothers to “burn” all our roses and grow gardenias. He also said to keep a stem on the gardenias and ship them in a bud stage. To be honest, at that time I thought he was “just being Michael.” Michael always asks for the most bizarre and extreme forms of flora. Half the time I don’t even know what type of flower or green he is talking about. However, he has a booming business in Honolulu and his work is in high demand because of his fun and exotic look.
Today, Kitayama Brothers has pulled out every rose plant and I believe we must be the biggest gardenia grower in the USA. And with the introduction of the stemmed gardenia, our customers can get a new use for an old flower. The stem allows the gardenia to be used in arrangements. Also, because of the bud stage, the flowers can be ship in greater quantity and are much better priced than traditional select gardenias (3 in a box).
Hopefully we are creating a new generation of gardenia lovers. I will be back in Honolulu this Fall, (it's my duty to visit once a year), and I will visit Michael again, there just might be a new idea..