Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are “market days” at the San Francisco Flower Mart. Wholesale hours on market days are from 2 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Yes, you read that right, the market opens at two in the morning! I read somewhere that the top designers in the area consider all the good stuff gone by three a.m. I have never been there when the market opens. My friends and I often threaten to go to San Francisco for a night out and then stay up until the market opens, just to see what this good stuff really is.
I usually go after I send my kids off to school which means I don’t get to the mart until 8:30ish. The earliest I’ve ever been there is 4:30 a.m. and I saw a difference in the product offerings. I saw flowers in unusual colors or new varieties that are in short supply. By 8:30, those specialty flowers are long gone. I can only imagine what is available at 2 a.m.
Wednesdays are the busiest days because that’s when most designers buy their flowers for weekend events. The mart is bustling with buyers from all over Northern California, the fragrance is at its headiest, and the parking lot is hopelessly congested.
It often reminds me of that fabulous flower market scene in “My Fair Lady” (especially minutes 3 through 5):
Non-market days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flower growers get to sleep in and show up at 5 in the morning. The Flower Mart is open to the public from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. six days a week.
I have my favorite vendors at the Flower Mart; you met some of them yesterday. Brannan Street Wholesale Florist and Torchio Nursery carry a great variety of flowers with consistent high quality. They are pricey, but you get what you pay for.
The day that Treasurehunter joined me, Brannan Street had the sweetest nosegays that flower girls in a wedding party would love to carry:
della robia arrangement Tracy and I made.
Florist at Large , is the most personable vendor at the mart. Her sister Valerie collects greens and mushrooms all over the Bay Area. They creates the most lovely still lifes of their findings:
Blossom Valley is my favorite place to buy gerbera daisies and cut orchids:
Shibata’s tropical flowers are beautiful:
Coast Wholesale Florist carries fabulous dry flowers, silk flowers,
sea shells and other novelties to enhance your designs. I know Robin Bird will like these: