In May 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made the announcement that Bloomaker USA would increase its existing Waynesboro, VA, horticulture operations. Bloomaker, known for developing and patenting the new floral category “Long Life Flowers,” has invested more than $2 million to build a new greenhouse, creating potential for 98 jobs in the area and preparing to take annual sales from $10 million to over $25 million in five years.

These Long Life Tulips by Bloomaker in Virginia bloom in homes over a four-to-eight-week period.
By November 2014, the construction was finalized, tripling the size of its existing operation with a new greenhouse and a 20,000-square-foot additional bulb cooler, thus increasing capacity for growing, packing, and shipping the “Long Life Tulips” and Giant Amaryllis in glass vases that bloom in homes over a four-to-eight-week period. The expansion is already proving to be successful, by allowing the company to further meet the growing demands of its major retail customers, including Costco and Home Depot.

Both Augusta County and the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industry Fund provided financial support for the expansion. The state grant of $50,000 was matched by Augusta County in order to expand a nearby natural gas line. State officials say businesses like Bloomaker are an important part of Virginia’s agricultural economy with the greenhouse and nursery industry generating $272 million in annual farm sales.

On May 15, a Grand Opening at Bloomaker is planned to celebrate the end of the construction project. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a few speeches given by local officials. The event is by invitation only and will include dinner, dancing and cocktails.

With over 1,500,000 “Long Life Tulip” vases produced, packed and shipped to major retailers this season, Bloomaker is now looking into the purchase of a state-of-the-art ozone system along with expanding the program to include more bulb varieties in the Hyacinth, Muscari, Amaryllis, and Daffodil families.

Michelle Powell is sales account manager at Bloomaker in Waynesboro, VA. She can be contacted at michelle@bloomaker.com.