A rose is just a rose, you say? Well let me tell you about the fresh roses we carry. Ask Felipe Villamizar, President of Maria Roses based in South America, and he’ll probably tell you about his mother Maria, the beauty of the Andes Mountains, and the graciousness of South American culture. He probably won’t tell you though that Maria Roses can be found in the best markets in Europe. He won’t brag that he can trace every rose bunch to the farm of origin and the day it was harvested. He probably won’t even mention the razor-sharp logistics of shipping his roses worldwide. But what he will talk about is the beauty of the roses, the connections they help build, and making people happy.
Maria Roses are cutting edge, coming to us from farms in Ecuador and Colombia. The Ecuadorian farms are at higher elevations and the Colombian farms at lower. With different climates, Maria is able to grow more rose varieties. Poor weather or a production problem at one farm doesn’t necessarily mean that the same problems are at another. Maria Roses cares about sustainability. As Felipe says, “It’s our land, it’s precious, and there is no more.” He is very proud of his family’s involvement, too, and will likely show you a photograph of his teenage son working at one of the farms last summer peering into a microscope in one of the laboratories.
Every few weeks, we get an email or call from Felipe asking if our customers like the fresh roses we’re getting. Felipe has never been to our stores but he’s part of our family and culture and we are part of his.