Bloomaker, a Virginia-based bulb producer, recently announced it will bring its production of amaryllis bulbs in house for quality control purposes after previously relying on third-party suppliers for sourcing, planting, and harvesting.
The company says it will source the bulbs from its farm in Peru, where 50% of the world’s amaryllis crops are grown. The bulbs are shipped from Peru to Waynesboro, VA, where they are planted, harvested, packaged, and shipped to retailers. This method allows Bloomaker to control the size, number of stems, and number of flowers of its amaryllis. By harvesting the bulbs in its greenhouses in Waynesboro, Bloomaker is able to control the timing of availability, with a goal to make this traditionally winter flower available all year long.
Bloomaker anticipates its largest holiday season in company history for its amaryllis blooms. The company will produce and ship nearly 1 million amaryllis bulbs to stores across the country, including Costco, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Martin’s, and Whole Foods, from its Waynesboro headquarters. This is a 425% increase in amaryllis sales in the past five years.
“The decision to bring the production of the amaryllis in house was necessary for us to be able to offer the most beautiful and highest quality blooms to consumers,” says Joep Paternostre, Bloomaker’s Owner. “We also knew this decision would mean an expansion within and beyond our Waynesboro headquarters. Bloomaker has blossomed since locating in Augusta County, and our expansion plans will ensure we can continue to grow.”
“We’re proud to see the continuous growth of Bloomaker, both here in Augusta County and worldwide,” says Carolyn Bragg, Vice-Chair of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and representative of the South River District where Bloomaker is located. “Bloomaker upholds the strong agricultural background of our region and brings its modern twist to both our agriculture industry and to the floral industry.”
A previous recipient of a Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant, Bloomaker ships 14 million tulip bulbs, nearly 1 million amaryllis bulbs, and 500,000 hyacinth bulbs from Augusta County each year. Bloomaker’s goal is to increase the production of its amaryllis bulbs by 50% in five years, and the company is planning a multi-million dollar expansion of its Augusta County facility, as well as a second operation on the West Coast, to accommodate future growth. The company currently employs 100+ part-time, seasonal workers to assist in planting, harvesting, packaging, and shipping its blooms.