|- Depending upon your geographic location and your business plan, your local wholesale florist may not be a good fit for you. In this case, it's time to seek out alternative suppliers. Your first place to look will be online flower sellers. Look for vendors who can promise the shortest supply chain between the grower and your door step. Also, look for a vendor who can offer an un-interrupted cold chain. Right now, the only online wholesale florist that can promise this is Teleflora's Stems and Bunches. This service, offered only to Teleflora customers utilizes the existing cold chain to deliver flowers. Other services use the shipping agents such as FedEx and UPS to get flowers from port of entry or broker to your door. You'll need to weigh the pros of convenience and selection of online ordering with the cons of delivery delay and temperature fluctuation on your flowers.
Surprising as it may seem, in some business plans, super markets and big box stores are proving to be viable suppliers of fresh flowers. This works in locations where delivery charges and minimum orders drastically reduce the profit margin on small flower orders.
In any case, big box stores, online stores, and home centers are viable options for purchasing specialty hardgoods. These stores have buying power that far exceeds that of many wholesale florists. If you can justify the shopping and travel time, if you can justify paying by cash or credit card, and if you don't mind the crowds, consider purchasing your specialty containers at these normally retail outlets.