Before dawn on most weekdays Wall Street bustles with vans, pickup trucks and cars filled with flowers. Workers unload the delicate flowers into booths, homemade shelves and buckets filled with ice water in time for the Original L.A Flower Market’s pre-dawn opening. Industry professionals have access to the freshest flowers between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. while the general public has to wait until 8 a.m. to shop.
Flower stock varies by season but, according to Anthony Valle, manager of Eliseo’s Wholesale, the busiest times are before holidays. Valle’s family has owned Eliseo’s wholesale for more than 20 years. They specialize in California-grown roses, gerbera daisies and lilies.
“We changed the game since we first opened. We’re the only ones who sell bulk roses – 10 dozen stems – so people come to use for them,” Valle said.
Eliseo’s Wholesale mostly sells bundles of one hundred flowers at a time and Valle said they can go through over a thousand flowers per day. They also buy their newspapers, used to wrap the flowers, in bulk from a Korean daily publisher.
Valle said business can triple in the week before holidays and added that he is already getting inquiries about Valentine’s Day. Valle explained that red roses are the most expensive color of roses and many vendors choose to import them instead of using California flowers. Instead of red roses, Eliseo’s will offer a more affordable selection of pink, yellow, white and orange flowers.
In addition to the Original L.A Flower Market, independent vendors sell flowers between 7th and 9th Streets and San Pedro to Maple Avenues.
The Original L.A Flower Market is located at 754 Wall Street, Los Angeles. Visit http://originallaflowermarket.com/ for hours and more information.