Yes, There is Floral at The New York Produce Show

Known for its extensive Bonsai offerings, Penang Nursery Inc. of Apopka, FL, was a first-time exhibitor at the New York Produce Show on December 12.

It’s a valid question — Does the New York Produce Show include floral? The answer has always been, yes, but for growers, suppliers and floral distributors, the second week in December is typically demanding. The pre-Christmas timing has prevented many floral and foliage companies from exhibiting, but now more companies are taking a closer look and strategizing how to position their products in front of top retailers. The New York event draws an extensive list of retail buyers from beyond the Tri-State area.

Since the show started in 2010, the list of floral-related exhibitors includes World Class Flowers, Micky’s Minis Floral Express, Dan Schantz Greenhouses, Blooming Greetings, White’s Nursery and more. The timing might be tricky, but no risk might mean no reward for those companies holding back from the Big Apple experience.

Held this past year on December 12 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, The New York Produce Show and Conference is unique in that most of the buying audience in attendance is at a higher level than a floral buyer or director, so much higher level decisions can be made there. The show atmosphere, as such, was conducive to flourishing collaborations and prosperous deals — all happening simultaneously with seminars and educational micro sessions.

Known for its produce and gift basket programs, Procacci Brothers of Philadelphia is also known for supplying stores with full floral programs including cut flower bouquets and potted foliage plants.

After hearing of the show for years, one grower from Central Florida decided to take a new route to meet and greet buyers. In business for nearly 40 years, Penang Nursery Inc. of Apopka, FL, provides retailers with innovative plant décor for homes and offices. Penang is known for its extensive Bonsai program and provides retailers with Lucky Bamboo, succulents, air plants and terrariums. “As growers, we like to think the plant makes the sale, but floral buyers know containers are just as important as the plants,” says president Brady Lo. He says his company travels the globe to source interesting pots and distinctive containers made of ceramic, clay, porcelain and glass.

Holiday mason jar arrangements were popular grab-and-go gifts displayed at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods.

As a first-time exhibitor, Lo has this to say about the one-day show: “The New York Produce Show was great. We were pleased with the traffic and were surprised by the quality of buyers for a show open such a short period of time. At times we felt a little out of place since it’s a different side of the business, but we felt there was value at this show and not the fluff as some others.”


When planning to attend the NYPS make sure to schedule the day after to participate in the various retail tours. Though molasses-paced Manhattan traffic is no picnic, the NYPS bus tour of Manhattan is the ideal ticket for seeing several stores while having opportunities to hear from management and ask questions about logistics, merchandising and consumer buying patterns. In addition to visiting a new Morton Williams, the day’s tour included Essex Market at Essex and Delancey, Whole Foods at Columbus Circle, and Gristedes at the West 26th Street location.


Opened for only four months at the time of the Manhattan tour, the Morton Williams located at 15 West End Avenue was an impressive, pristine store filled with photo-worthy floral and produce displays. Marc Goldman, produce director, welcomed tour participants and generously answered questions.

Known for its extensive Bonsai offerings, Penang Nursery Inc. of Apopka, FL, was a first-time exhibitor at the New York Produce Show on December 12.


This high-traffic store is located on its own basement floor at The Shops at Columbus Circle Mall. Shoppers enter via a descending escalator and the first items seen are cut-flower bouquets, orchids, holiday arrangements and a small area for creating custom-floral arrangements. A crowded breakfast and lunch spot, this Whole Foods is a tourist destination, and it caters to commuters looking for grab-and-go floral items they can take home with them.

E. Shaunn Alderman, floral department marketing strategist, is associate publisher of Floral Business magazine and a contributing editor with Produce Business, based in Boca Raton, Florida.