How It’s Done: From Auction to Bouquet

Curious to know what it takes to get your fresh cut florals to your doorstep?

Tucked away in the suburbs of Burnaby, British Columbia, is North America’s second largest Dutch-style flower auction. Though a tiny building compared to Holland’s Aaslmeer auction, United Flower Growers’ (UFGCA) humble warehouse supplies fresh cut floral products from the province’s dedicated floriculture growers to buyers across Canada and the Northwestern United States.

First opening for business on March 25, 1963, our buyer has been attending the auction since the 80s. From witnessing the evolution of “the clock” and the “paddle,” the decades of experience, knowledge of the industry, and attention to detail required to inspect all the product offerings is a talent in itself. Not to mention, so is the commitment to waking up in the early hours of the morning when the auction routinely begins each week.

What was once a packed parking lot accommodating the eager flower and plant buyers, is now a COVID transition to remote buying. The 500-seat auditorium that was once populated with buyers glued to their computer screens anxiously watching the four auction clocks, expertly poising their fingers on the keypad in the hopes of securing their bid on a plethora of products, now sits empty aside from a few committed enthusiasts.

With products no longer being paraded on carts for buyers to see the cuts and plants firsthand, buyers have relied heavily on the reputation of the growers themselves. At West Coast, we have navigated the challenge of buying remotely through the reliance of our long-standing relationships we have built with our trusted growers allowing us to continue offering the best quality products for our customers.

With a day-of turnaround from purchasing at the clock, picking up the products at the auction, carefully distributing and packing them in our warehouse, to sending them across Western Canada to our customers, our team is dedicated to everything we do.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes of what it takes to get your cut florals to you!