The San Francisco Flower Market is a historical institution that was first established in 1912 in the Financial District. In 1924 it relocated to 5th & Howard, and proceeded to move to 6th & Brannan in 1956. It is one of 5 total flower markets in the United States, and the second largest next to the Los Angeles Flower Market. Vendors supply flowers, plants, containers, and more as far north as Oregon, as far east as Nevada, and as far south as the central coast of California. The customer base consists of event planners, retail florists, interior decorators, caterers, plant shops, flower wholesalers, and more.
This shutdown affects an employment base of over 300 employees, with many vendors being small, local, family-owned businesses. There are just under 50 vendors within the flower market that are facing a monumental loss due to the fact that their primary product that is highly perishable. Preserving any product is nearly impossible. The flower market is a unique institution that brings together an incredibly diverse group of people, and contains many first generation micro businesses.
The money collected will be evenly distributed to each vendor based on their number of employees to aid in payroll expenses.
About the creator of the campaign:
I'm Lauren Borden. I manage Delano Nursery and we are vendors at the SF Flower Market. We have two locations within the mart, one at 658 Brannan (retail shop), and the other 548 5th Street (wholesale shop). I know how hard the employees at the Flower Mart work, and I want to make sure that they go through this shut down with some income.
My plan is generate a list of employees at the SFFM, and divide the amount we raise equally between them. Those who wish to opt out are welcome to, to generate a higher income for the individuals in the pool. I, myself, will not be requesting a share.
About the San Francisco Flower Market:
A need for a centrally located market bringing together the three ethnically diverse groups of flower growers was fulfilled with the opening of a market located at 5th and Howard Streets in 1924. As flower growers expanded production areas outside of the Bay Area and as product from other parts of United States came in, the need for a larger more modern permanent facility led to the design and construction of our current market at Sixth and Brannan Streets in the South of Market area of San Francisco.
The grand opening of the San Francisco Flower Terminal in September 1956 marked the establishment of an industry icon. Today, officially known as the San Francisco Flower Mart, we now have just under 50 vendors, purveyors of cut flowers, potted plants, blooming plants and floral supplies.
Founded by Japanese immigrant flower growers at the turn of the century, the story of the California Flower Market, Inc. spans nearly the entire history of Japanese in America. Through depressions, earthquakes, racial hostility, restrictive legislation and internment during World War II, the members of the California Flower Market have overcome adversity to serve the growers who built a thriving industry from the ground up.
One of the oldest and most successful Japanese-American-owned corporations in the United States, the California Flower Market has been the center of the wholesale flower industry in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly a century. It is one of the few wholesale markets in the United States owned and run for and by flower growers.
*Photos credit to the SF Flower market instagram
- Cynthia Alexander
- Double Fine Productions
- Noah Conk