These vendors serve as centralized sources for the countless items needed by the profession’s producers and retailers. Most wholesale suppliers stock materials needed by either growers or retail florists, but seldom try to serve both due to the dissimilarity of their needs.
Wholesalers who supply growers provide almost everything but plants. Their inventory includes tools of all types, artificial media and soil additives, lights, containers, greenhouse materials, pesticides, and hundreds of other items needed to produce and distribute quality crops.
Wholesalers who supply the nation’s flower shops and floral designers serve as sources for cut flowers from all over the world. They also provide the materials necessary to transform cut flowers into flower shop products: dried, plastic, and silk materials; decorative containers; ribbons; paints; gift items; register tapes; boxes; and so on.
Staffing the wholesale supply house are warehouse workers who keep the extensive inventories accounted for and organized, and sales floor personnel to serve the customers. Many wholesalers also have a staff of traveling salespeople to call on customers personally to take and deliver their orders. Numerous middle management positions are available in wholesaling. College education in horticulture with a business emphasis provides the best background.