The Ultimate Location for the Ultimate Rose
Selecting the optimal location when launching a business venture is imperative. It is an integral, intrinsic and indispensable extension of the business, affecting a multitude of operational aspects. An entrepreneur’s overall success or failure often depends on the business’s geographical location. For Florida natives Tom and Charlotte Wienckoski, the Space Coast offers competitive advantages, talent and infrastructure access to successfully accommodate The Ultimate Rose, a long- stemmed rose delivery service.
As longtime entrepreneurs, Tom and Charlotte look for equitable risks, unique opportunities and innovative markets currently not being served. Charlotte explained, “We are a family of entrepreneurs from my parents to my children. We constantly think about new businesses, products and markets. It is infused within us. We have a drive to succeed and take reasonable risks. Tom and I opened businesses that did not work. We learned from those experiences and pursued business opportunities which proved to be successful.”
The Ultimate Rose originated after Tom and Charlotte sold their successful company. “We were looking forward to a challenge and new accomplishment. We saw a long- stemmed rose grown out of South America that was three to four feet long,” Charlotte explained. “We were intrigued by the production process to grow roses that were beautiful, magnificent and big.”
Not Another Rose
Recognizing the floral industry remains a dynamic, fast growing industry and long-stemmed roses did not occupy a huge market share in the United States; Tom and Charlotte assessed the opportunity to specialize in unusual flowers for delivery. With 64 percent of fresh flowers being imported to the United States, most produced in South America, they arranged a trip to Ecuador meeting with growers and learning how roses were cultivated. High in the Andes Mountains close to the Equator, the volcanic ash, rich soil and high altitude together created the ultimate rose.
We ship in-state and nationally. Our location’s proximity to the port, airport and distribution center makes it possible for us to deliver overnight anywhere in the United States. It has proven extremely beneficial.
Florists typically purchase flowers through a channel of distributors, wholesalers, retailers or brokers. Tom and Charlotte bypassed these common channels by acquiring land and planting roses, increasing their cost savings. Compared to competitors, The Ultimate Rose is the only company to have direct from the farm roses. “We are unique because our roses are directly shipped from our Ecuadorian farm to our refrigerated storage facilities in Melbourne, Florida within three days of harvesting,” Charlotte said. “Most florists receive their flowers approximately a week after being harvested. Our top-quality processing system makes it possible to deliver fresher, beautiful and larger long-stemmed roses throughout the United States at cost-effective price points compared to competitors.”
The Process of Transferring Roses
Florida has easy access to every South American business hub, thriving on exporting and importing through Pan- American trade. Located three hours from PortMiami and one hour from Orlando International Airport, The Ultimate Rose can easily access two strong transportation infrastructures plus a FedEx distribution center in Melbourne. It utilizes PortMiami to import its product from Ecuador and connects cargo trucks to transport the roses to the Melbourne facility.
Once the roses are in the facility, each is packaged and shipped overnight to customers. The Ultimate Rose has built a sustainable relationship with the Space Coast’s FedEx distribution center, only a few miles away. It is the last daily stop for FedEx; the roses are only in the FedEx truck for an hour heading to Orlando International Airport. “These infrastructures allow us to move our product quickly,” Charlotte said. “We ship in-state and nationally. Our location’s proximity to the port, airport and distribution center makes it possible for us to deliver overnight anywhere in the United States. It has proven extremely beneficial.”
Blooming Talent Pool
The Ultimate Rose employs 13 full-time individuals and hires temporary, part-time individuals during the peak seasons. As business continues its scalable growth, Tom and Charlotte foresee hiring three additional full-time employees in 2017.
“We have a talented, skilled and collaborative team. Our part-time employees work throughout the major holidays – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. We try to hire local college students who can work part-time and have a desire to learn about entrepreneurialism and the industry,” Charlotte explained.
Coming Up Roses
The Ultimate Rose received national recognition from Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Oprah. Charlotte said, “When a person is giving roses, he or she is attempting to make an impression. To us, these long-stemmed roses are the ultimate impression.”