Rooted Flowers develops floral business on abandoned farm in Agawam
AGAWAM – Rebecca Sadlowski’s floral business was in full bloom at the end of March 2020. She walked around her greenhouse in Agawam one afternoon to take stock of the flowers ready to be turned into bouquets and centerpieces for them. events she had planned.
The next day, the state of Massachusetts closed its doors in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and Sadlowski had no market for his flowers.
“I opened an online store,” recalls the owner of Rooted Flowers. “I did some social media posts. “We have flowers in bloom and we have no way to move them. Are you interested? Visit our online store. ‘ And, people did. We’ve been going there ever since.
By the fall, Sadlowski had also created new products – wreaths and dried winter-themed arrangements, and, in combination with his new online bouquet subscription service, his earnings stayed on track. track throughout 2019, with only a rapid drop due to the pandemic.
Customers can now order bouquets and wreaths online that Sadlowski makes herself, and the 33-year-old mother and entrepreneur delivers to northern Connecticut and parts of Franklin County.
Sadlowski is a fourth generation Hadley native and producer. She tilled the soil when she was 10 and worked on vegetable, dairy and tobacco farms. As a teenager, she opened her own vegetable stall, growing tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins.
Soon after, Sadlowski started growing flowers in an attempt to make his stand more attractive from the side of the road. Thus was born Rooted Flowers, paying homage to its agricultural roots, and it immediately began to evolve.
First, the young entrepreneur added a pick-your-own plot on the family land she farmed in Hadley, and then she did some research to supply flowers to florists in the area, ultimately deciding to be herself. florist.
After attending a bouquet class in New York City, where Sadlowski witnessed the New England pattern flowers being wrapped in cellophane and heavy cardboard, she decided she was going to hoe her own row. .
“When I came back to the farm, I said, ‘I’m going to do it my way – from the field to the vase.’ Everything we do is inspired by the garden. The packaging we use is 100% compostable – stickers, packaging material. No plastic.
Sadlowski’s partner Albert Grimaldi entered the scene around this time, around 2016. They married and moved to his hometown of Agawam, where Sadlowski began cleaning up the 25-year-old farm on their formerly property. active but long abandoned. and overgrown. She continued to grow her produce in Hadley until early 2020, when the Agawam site was ready to be plowed and planted.
Now she has two children, a baby and a 2 year old, and she is busy all year round. In early December, she relaunched her website at flowersroots.com, and it intends to continue with its current “long-term” subscription model.
“This is how I wanted things to be when I was originally selling flowers,” notes Sadlowski, explaining that online sales platforms were not yet developed enough to handle sales as effectively as they do. ‘she can now.
If the pandemic had any silver lining, it helped put Sadlowski on the right track. As international floral supplies became scarce, or impossible to source locally, people went looking.
“It opened the eyes of the locals (to say), ‘Hey, what do we have around here? »», Sadlowski shares. “Supply chains have been reduced. No flower came. It made people look locally and opened their eyes.