Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New friends and local organic business: The Grape Vine Florist

Clint and I were heading home from camping yesterday, when my phone finally received a signal, and this message from Gamera dinged in:
Some friends of mine are trying to start up a *very* small flower business. They grow them in their own garden and they were hoping to give a bouquet to a local blogger so they could blog about the arrangement and I thought you might be perfect.
Let me see...a Sunday afternoon adventure, meeting new friends, and a free bouquet...ahhh, you already know what my answer was. I made a 4:00 appointment to meet Matt and Beth Starks.

4:00, right? So, at 3:55, Daphne, the Starks' family shih-tzu, escaped and Beth and one son took off to chase her around the neighborhood. They returned to find blood on the floor, Matt holding an ice bag to his face, and son #2 exclaiming: "Dad broke his nose!"

And THAT is how I met the Starks family.

I'm pretty sure this isn't the story they had in mind in exchange for a bouquet, but really, could you resist?

The real story is an amazing one, so let's move on, shall we?

For the last couple of years, Beth and Matt have spent countless hours transforming their front yard into a vegetable garden. This year, in pursuit of a dream, they split the space, turned one-half of it into a gorgeous flower garden, and have started their own business: The Grape Vine Florist.

This is not a spur-of-the-moment endeavor. Beth worked as a florist for several years when she was in school, and has always dreamed of owning and operating her own floral business. Matt went through a Master Gardening training course 6 years ago, and together they are finally taking their first steps towards turning their hard work and knowledge into a bona fide business.

They gave me a tour of both gardens (yes, broken nose, ice bag, and all!) and some more in the back yard. They invited me in to meet their children, and show off a few of Beth's gorgeous bouquets. One was complex and colorful, with several varieties of wildflowers, and one simple and gorgeous, a glass vase of sunflowers, making their very own statement without accessories.

I spent less than an hour with them, but it was all I needed to see that Beth and Matt are forces of nature. In addition to holding down full time jobs, taking care of their children and home, working in the garden and launching The Grape Vine, Beth makes and sells her own greeting cards here: Stamped Expressions...

...and Matt has spent a fair amount of time teaching himself digital and video trades. He has, I quote, "gotten mediocre at an impressive number of separate skills."

Better than mediocre, I'd say; check out the promotional video he created for the new business:

The video sums it up all very well: They're small, local, organic, and seasonal.

There are only about 5 or 6 weeks left of blooming and harvesting left for this season at The Grape Vine Florist, so if you're in the market, or will be in that time, contact Beth and Matt as soon as possible at:


Or check out their ordering information here: http://thegrapevineflorist.com/want-to-order/

If you're not immediately in the market for a fresh bouquet of flowers, bookmark them anyway. Who among us hasn't dreamed of doing our own thing, but balked at following through? Here's a couple—a family—that's going for it, and I for one will be watching their website, their blog, and their progress, whooping and cheering them every step of the way.

Before I forget, I have to tell you:
those sunflowers look really great in my kitchen!

Thanks, Beth and Matt for the invitation, the flowers, and for sharing your story with me in the midst of keeping an ice pack full.


  1. Awesome work Lori. Thank you so much for all of your kind words.

  2. Matt and Beth are two of my most favorite people in the entire world. And yes, they ARE forces of natures so anything they do....they do well!

  3. That's pretty cool. Did you take that pic of the grapes? That's really gorgeous and would make a great label for a wine bottle. Or as an artfully framed and matted pic for a kitchen.

  4. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Beautiful flowers!!
    I wish I had any kind of gardening talent whatsoever lol

    Best of luck to them! It can be very challenging running a business but it's also incredibly rewarding!


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