Did you know… that Ventura is credited as the originator of America’s commercial cut flower industry?
California’s cut flower business goes back to the late 1870s when a Ventura housewife, Theodosia Shepherd, was inspired to sell the flowers she raised in her garden, notably the abundant calla lilies that thrived in Ventura Counties Mediterranean climate. Other women began to follow suit by bringing their own backyard beauty to the local market and the retail florist profession was born. By the turn of the century, most towns had just one florist.
Today, retail florists number some 40,000 nationwide, in addition to the thousands of supermarket cut flower departments, kiosks on city streets and farmers markets. Sales of California cut flowers and foliage now total around $330 million each year.