Green Business Ideas: Edible and Organic Floristry

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If you’ve got a green thumb, an eye for beauty, and are handy with arrangement and design, then floristry might interest you as a green business idea. But not just any type of floristry will do for an ecopreneur, due to the numerous environmental and social issues attendant with conventional floristry, so focusing on creating edible and organic arrangements and bouquets could be a sustainable alternative that can grow into a thriving eco-friendly business.

1. What is a sustainable, edible, and organic floristry?

Conventionally grown flowers have a host of environmental problems;  intensive application of agrochemicals, plus freshwater resource consumption which is higher per acre than most food crops, and a big carbon footprint from long-distance transportation.  Sixty per cent of flower workers have health problems associated with exposure to chemicals in their work. The bottom line, though, is that the flowers have a useful life of only a few days and then are tossed.

A far more sustainable approach to floristry is to create floral arrangements that are edible (and fair trade and organic, if possible).  These can be as beautiful as any flower bouquet, and have the added advantage that they are not just thrown away, but instead deliciously enjoyed!

To get an idea of the market for edible floristry, a relatively new industry, take a look at an industry pioneer:  Edible Arrangements.  The company opened its first store in 1999 and currently has 942 stores worldwide.  In one decade, the company has exploded, adding roughly 100 new stores per year on average.  Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Edible Arrangements #40 in the global top 500 franchises.

2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?

There are no formal educational or training requirements for this business. However, a knowledge of edible flowers, along with learning a variety of ways to display and present them to customers, will go a long way in an edible floristry business. In addition, learning which flowers and fruits are in season, and where to source them locally, is imperative in being able to offer the widest range of options for your edible floristry customers.

3. How much money is required to start?

$-$$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) Although this green business idea could be started at your kitchen table, to really be able to store, display, and arrange the flowers and herbs that make up your edible arrangements, a large cooler and a work table will come in very handy.

4. What is the income potential?

$$-$$$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) Like many businesses, the income potential for an edible and sustainable floristry business will depend a lot on the type of customers you can attract. Selling single arrangements and orders to individuals is not going to be nearly as profitable, or have the sales volume to be sustainable, as it is if you can land some contracts for events such as green weddings or parties, or for restaurants or hotels.

5. What is the best location for a sustainable, edible, organic floristry?

Urban (best), semi-urban (very good), suburbs (very good), rural (fair/poor).

6.  Three best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to these, this business might be for you):

  • Do you enjoy artistic expression and arranging beautiful pieces?
  • Do you have a passion for healthy food?
  • Do you like promoting what you are doing and making people happy?

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!