NEW YORK — Amy’s Orchids is back in business after a hiatus of more than a year due to the worst floods in Thailand in 50 years and a poor economy. Amy, who goes by one name, said the reopened firm has offices in Thailand and Virginia and will still sell mainly to selected wholesalers and supermarkets. She was interviewed at the World Floral Expo show, here, March 13.
“We are open for business again and can provide orchids in all seasons. We will be offering more flowers for fun, fashion and jewelry, and put more emphasis on our brand through partnerships with high-quality wholesalers,” she said. One example of the new offerings was a luau party kit. Other new offerings include colored orchids and garlands. “I will also do training on orchid care and handling and merchandising for store sales staff,” Amy said.
Exhibiting here in mid-March, Amy showed visitors photos from parties she attended and helped decorate with her orchids for the Academy Awards in California earlier this year. Founded in 1999, Amy’s Orchids had a facility in Phenix, VA, which closed Jan. 31, 2012. It still has a bookkeeping office in Phenix, but the orchid farm, packinghouse and all other operations are in Thailand. Amy divides her time between Thailand and the United States.
Amy’s flowers are cut to order from its farms, packed and shipped the same day, and available in the United States 48 hours after leaving the fields. “We completed an expansion and once again have the ability to cut and deliver a million stems each month. We now have between 50 and 100 employees, part time and full time combined,” she said.
Products include Arachnis, Dendrobium, Mokara, Oncidium and Vanda orchids; cut orchids and loose blooms; orchid bouquets, leis and garlands; and Lucky Bamboo. “We can handle orders as small as one box with 80 to 140 stems, to as large as more than 30,000 stems in one day,” Amy noted.
To expedite air shipments, Amy opened an export business at the airport. In Thailand, the mercury spikes to over 100 degrees in summer months, so the export division meets its arriving shipment, walks it through customs and within 20 minutes it’s in the cool storage area waiting to board a plane. That is why, Amy said, her orchids are “crispier.”
Care and handling are top priority. Amy calls her quality-control people “angels” because they care as much about quality as she does.
An article, “Thailand floods devastate orchid farms,” on page 107 of the Dec. 12, 2011, issue of Floral Marketing in The Produce News, described the impact of the worst flooding in Thailand in half a century on orchid growers there, including Amy’s Orchids.
Many of the orchid plants lost in the flooding were growing in coconut shells. “When the floods came, the coconut shells went floating off with the orchid plants in them, like ships heading out to sea,” Amy said wistfully.