WHOLESALER SPOTLIGHT: LOUISIANA WHOLESALE FLORIST
Established in 1961, Louisiana Wholesale Florists, Inc. is the only Louisiana-based wholesale floral co-op. Bill Broussard, Joel Hebert, and Jim Durio formed this cooperative organization to serve the ever-growing needs of florists in Louisiana. Fully owned by their members, they strive to provide the highest quality products at the most reasonable costs, along with friendly customer service, to their members and retail customers.
Shortly after their formation, the founders recruited a Board of Directors who approved articles of incorporation, bylaws, and stock certificates. All the florists in the area were then invited to a stock subscription drive meeting. From that day forward, the cooperative has grown by providing the best possible discounts to their stockholders, each of whom is a licensed retail florist business.
James “Red” Darby signed on as the first manager of the cooperative. In 1962, Merlin Leger was hired on as General Manager and still serves in that capacity today. Louisiana Wholesale Florists, Inc. has their headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, providing fresh flowers, hard goods, and floral supplies to their members. In 1970, a second warehouse was opened in Baton Rouge under the management of Rick Hill, to serve the growing Louisiana floral market.