What is it about flowers that makes everything better?
Is it their sweet scent, the one that floats throughout the house perfuming the air as it goes? Or their punchy colors, which come in hues as delicate as baby pink and mauve and as zippy as coral and violet? Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re a little piece of nature inside the home, serving both as decoration and a reminder of the great, beautiful outdoors that lies just beyond the threshold.
For The Parcel Flower Co., it’s all of the above. Of course, given the Cold Spring shop’s status as a flower farm store, we have a feeling that the great outdoors might just be reason number one. After all, The Parcel isn’t just a highly Instagrammable, floral boutique; it also happens to be a Hudson Valley flower farm, albeit a slightly untraditional one. It’s something of a piecemeal operation, you see, and one that came together as naturally as the flowers that it sells.
It all began back in 2016, when husband-and-wife owners Marcella and Sam Broe purchased their house in Garrison. After making the full move to the Valley the following year, Marcella decided it was time for a career change. She had previously worked in advertising in New York City, but was ready to let that go in order to dedicate her efforts to floral design, a passion she had been practicing on the side. To build up her experience, she honed her skills as an onsite designer at Bear Creek Farm in Stanfordville, where she quickly fell in love with floral design and farming. That same year, she and Sam launched their studio design business with a focus on weddings and events.
Around that time, the couple began looking for locations to start a flower farm. Yet after scouting a few spots and realizing the price was too high, they admitted as much to their friend and realtor. So, when he suggested they use a little piece of land on his property instead, they were thrilled.
“Once we started sharing with neighbors and the community, they were like, “Well, I’ve got a piece of land, too,’” Marcella explains. Eventually, the couple found themselves taking care of three parcels (get it?) of farmland, with two being readied for the following year. All of them are located right around Garrison and Cold Spring, which makes bringing the blooms to their brick-and-mortar convenient.
Speaking of their space, The Parcel’s shop couldn’t be in a more perfect setting. Tucked inside what may just be the most beloved plaza in Cold Spring, it’s right next to Hudson Valley favorites like Vera’s Marketplace & Garden Center, Marbled Meat Shop, and The Pantry. In other words, visitors can get beautiful blooms, gardening supplies and apple cider donuts, fresh-cut steak, and a killer cup of coffee all in one place.
Originally, Marcella and Sam had reached out to The Pantry about setting up a CSA pickup at the coffee spot. When they found out that there was a small space available that would be just big enough for selling flowers, they were sold.
Up and running since June 4, The Parcel Flower Co. is a flower outpost with its very own walkup window. The window is a boon during a time of COVID-19, since it allows visitors to minimize contact while picking up bouquets. Inside, the shop stocks not only The Parcel’s homegrown flowers, but also flowers from local farms like Treadlight Farm in Kerhonkson, Vanishing Point Farm in Highland, and Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake. In addition to flowers, the store retails indoor plants, gifts, and pottery as well.
As a hyperlocal Hudson Valley business, The Parcel places a heavy emphasis on sustainability.
“I think our approach to sourcing locally and being focused on sustainability [sets us apart],” Marcella observes. “We don’t use flower foam, we have sustainable growing practices, and our design style is seasonal, so it feels more natural and organic.” Even when doing weddings and events, she and Sam provide rentals and utilize biodegradable elements so as to minimize their environmental impact.
Of course, their work for local weddings is on pause for now. Due to COVID-19, all their events have been rescheduled to 2021. The pandemic also pushed their opening back from March 19 to June, giving the couple time to implement safety procedures and offering options like no-contact pickup, delivery, and walkup window service. Even with the delay, they’ve been able to connect with the community via word of mouth and social media. While their opening has been unpredictable, they’re still as busy as ever.
“The flowers we’re farming have no idea COVID-19 is happening,” Marcella points out. “It’s our busiest time of year.”
Looking ahead, The Parcel is excited to continue its CSA programming (aptly titled the Weekly Parcel) and offer flowers at local farmers’ markets. For designers, it plans to provide wholesale packages as well. In the near future, Marcella and Sam hope to launch more video content to educate people about local flowers and farming.
“People don’t think about flowers the same way they think about food,” Marcella says. “[They know] local food is fresher and better for the environment. I think there’s a gap in understanding that this applies to flowers as well.”
The Parcel Flower Co.