Love is in the air, and Nevada City’s Golden Flowers is ready to help you gift your Valentine with an original arrangement that strays from the typical red roses.
Brittany Pelham, owner of Golden Flowers, grew up in Prunedale and has been in the agricultural business for most of her career. Her objective with the shop, she said, is to highlight local flower farmers and the farming community in general.
“Golden Flowers got started when I was in a bind for wedding flowers,” explained Pelham. “I got married in Tahoe. It was a week before my wedding and I was like, my background is in sustainable agriculture and I’ve grown up with flowers so I kind of always felt like connected to them. So to not have flowers at my wedding felt like it would be really sad for me.”
Pelham began cold-calling local farms and stumbled upon Foxboro Farms, who were able to supply her with nine buckets of wildflowers—just what she was looking for.
“I did the design for my wedding flowers and I basically said I think this local flower movement needs to be grown,” Pelham said. “My career in agriculture has been in the sustainability movement. Part of that for the last three years was connecting people to local food. So my job was to integrate new crops into growing systems for local foods like near to Whole Foods. That was my corporate job.”
Pelham said she always flirted with the idea of having a local flower shop featuring locally grown flowers, with the intention of supporting that movement. Her goal is to unite local farmers in the flower business.
“I feel like food farmers, as they should, have a lot of support and are united because they feed people,” she said. “And sometimes flower farmers are a little overlooked because they’re ornamental. It’s just a little bit different.”
The Golden Flowers proprietor is clear that if you are seeking a traditional bouquet, her space may not be for you, but features colorful and whimsical designs of flora that are likely more unexpected.
“We’re not red roses, we are not baby’s breath,” she clarified. “I really gravitate toward beautiful and unique. I like to buy things that would be used in a different way and I make them pretty and different. People like red roses and there is nothing wrong with them but they are just not my thing. We do different things and I like to support the farmer and what they like to grow. The farmer has such a good eye for things that are cool and maybe don’t make it too mainstream.”
Pelham’s selections are largely based on the season, and she said she prefers to buy from local farmers though in winter especially it is necessary to source out to other California growers. The choices vary based on this very concept.
“Some things stay consistent, so in springtime it will be sweet pea and some poppies, I hope,” said Pelham. “Tulips of course. Summer flowers will be zinnias and in the fall dahlias.”
Pelham also has plans for utilizing her Nevada City shop for other events.
“I am planning to host Flower Fridays for the community,” she said. “That’s when the shop will be open. And what I am envisioning is that I am going to have a local farmer in here with me selling their products on Fridays. So it will be a collaboration between Golden Flowers and a local farmer. It will be a pseudo-CSA but we want to hang out here and talk about flowers and design; just kind of unite the flower/farming community with our community. 3:00 (p.m.) every Friday. That will be bouquet pickup. I am aiming for the price point to be around $25 for a bouquet so it’s not cost prohibitive to get a big fancy design.
“I want to host a Mother’s Day brunch for sure. We’ve talked about doing a dahlia growing workshop. My dream for the space would be to start a farmer’s co-op so get all of our flower farmers united and aligned and support that movement. But I don’t know how to do it yet.”
When pressed, Pelham said she would have a hard time choosing her favorite flower. However these days she is drawn to Lunaria, which technically aren’t a flower but have an aesthetic she admires. Many refer to them as silver dollar plants.
Of her business, Pelham said: “I found an opportunity to merge what I love and what my career was and said, let’s do it. Let’s try it.”
Golden Flowers is at 313 Commercial Street in Nevada City. They are open by appointment and available for delivery. Additionally, they are open Fridays beginning at 3:00 p.m. for bouquet pickup. They can be reached at 831-235-3707.