WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Dutch Couple Bets That Flower Business Can Bloom In Virginia

Play associated audio
Already selling eight million flowers a year, Bloomaker predicts sales will triple by 2019, so the company’s building a massive greenhouse near Waynesboro.
Sandy Hausman
Already selling eight million flowers a year, Bloomaker predicts sales will triple by 2019, so the company’s building a massive greenhouse near Waynesboro.

Most grocery store flowers come from the Netherlands or California, but a Dutch couple aims to change that pattern by building their business, Bloomaker, in Virginia.

Joep and Lillian Paternostre spent a year driving across country in an RV looking for a place to start their American flower business, and they settled on a scenic spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro.

“We were able to reach 70-75 percent of the American and East Canadian population from this point within 24 hours," says Joep.

They also came up with a patented technique for making flowers last longer. It begins with a bulb on a small plastic platform inside a vase with an adequate supply of water.

“During shipping we put them at 35 degrees Fahrenheit and [when] they are in the stores the first tip of the flower will come in, and from there they have at least two weeks to see them fully flower," he explains.

Already selling eight million flowers a year, Bloomaker predicts sales will triple by 2019, so the company’s building a massive greenhouse. With $100,000 in economic development dollars from the state and county, Paternostre will get a spur built from Columbia’s natural gas pipeline to his greenhouse. That relatively cheap fuel will further boost his business, and, he says, could turn the region into a national hub for flower production.

NPR

Hieronymus Bosch Died 500 Years Ago, But His Art Will Still Creep You Out

Known by some as "the Devil's painter," Bosch depicted imaginary animals and souls being violently tortured. At least one critic believes he's the father of modern art.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
WAMU 88.5

Analysis Of The Last Supreme Court Decisions Of The Term

Supreme Court decisions are expected soon on issues that include access to abortion and limits on executive power: Analysis of major decisions at the end of the term and the impact of a vacant seat on the court.

NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.