Suzanne Nolter, Blazing Star Flowers
Multi-Use Canopy Structure
Grant Award: $8,000
Suzanne’s current location at the SAHC Community Farm requires her to drive offsite to arrange flowers and conduct workshops.
Desiring to create a more productive, efficient, and comfortable workspace for her cut flower business, Suzanne constructed a versatile commercial-grade canopy that provides a number of benefits for her business. Suzanne’s new canopy has already made a difference in her business. Instead of harvesting flowers and hauling them back to her house to get out of the heat, now she can make bouquets and arrangements onsite, resulting in a huge time and fuel savings. The canopy also provides shade for seedlings during the market season when she can’t be there to water them. Like many other farmers, Suzanne has found it difficult to hire consistent and reliable part-time workers to accomplish tasks while she is away.
Her grant paid for the purchase and installation of the commercial canopy structure, lockable storage for tools and equipment, chairs and tables for workshops, and advertising. Business is strong this year: she has added five more CSA customers as planned and she will hold a private floral design workshop this fall. In addition to the CSA and workshops, Suzanne currently sells at two farmers markets and delivers weekly wholesale bouquets to French Broad Co-op. Floral design for weddings and events round out the rest of her business.