Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

#P6 Profile: The Flower Basket

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

The Flower Basket is a true staple of Viroqua. They are a full service floral shop and greenhouse located at 520 East Terhune Street in Viroqua. The business started at it’s current location in the 1940’s with the name Hillcrest Garden Center.

Over the years, ownership has changed hands a number of times. In the past few years, long-time owners Kim and Al Petersen became interested in selling the business. A group of Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School (PRWS) parents caught wind of their plans and worked with Kim and Al for two seasons to learn the ins and out of their operation. In August 2015, with full support from the Petersens, the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School officially purchased The Flower Basket and three-acre property it rests on.

2016-flower-basket-web.jpgThe PRWS is eager to take up the legacy of The Flower Basket and continue serving the local community to meet their flower and gardening needs. They are working with the Petersens’ business model with continued support and mentoring from the Petersens and offer a full service floral shop and greenhouse year-round. From their storefront on Terhune Street, they offer fresh & silk flower arrangements for all occasions as well as homegrown annuals, perennials, garden supplies and accessories.

As much as possible, they grow or locally source the plants and flowers they sell. When they are not able to source locally, they have close relationships with several regional suppliers that match their values.
The Flower Basket business/PRWS garden on the property is host to student learning opportunities. They also offer adult educational classes on a variety of gardening topics (check out their Facebook page for upcoming events). They also offer space for meetings and groups within their sunny and warm greenhouses.

Those working at The Flower Basket are enthusiastic about its future and they have many ideas for how they can grow the business to better serve this community. Staff include Joshua Estep, Arwyn Wildingway, Jess Krueger, and Morgan Fenick (not pictured). Over the next few years, they have visions of transitioning flower and food production to organic methods, growing more of the flowers on-site that are used in their floral arrangements, building a commercial kitchen for growing edible greens, building a variety of nature paths and gardens, as well as offering garden and plant education to children and adults in the community year round.

Currently, The Flower Basket provides VFC with fresh bouquets, bulb gardens, houseplants, wheatgrass for juicing, microgreens and fresh herbs like basil and rosemary. This spring they are providing VFC with annual flowers in single, as well as combination pots. Keep on the lookout for more great products from The Flower Basket in the VFC Garden Center and in our Produce Department.

When purchasing The Flower Basket products, you are supporting a number of full-time and seasonal employees, as well as the work of the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School. Learn more at: 
www.prwsflowerbasket.org

Tags: P6 Producers, Local, P6