About The Bay: San Francisco Institution Still Blooming After 100 Years

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Mike-Sugerman_BIO-HEAD Mike Sugerman
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Flower Mart is marking a milestone, turning 100 years old this week.

It was 1912 when the flower growers came together to form what became San Francisco’s Flower Mart.

“We’re the granddaddy of them all,” declared Bob Otsuka, General Manager and Executive Vice President of the San Francisco Flower Mart. “We’re the oldest.”

For a century now, growers have been congregating at 640 Brannan Street to sell their roses, hydrangeas, birds of paradise and thousands of other varieties to the retail and wholesale market.

Given the Flower Mart’s decades-old history, it’s not surprising that today’s Flower Mart is devoid of any “originals” – people who were working there when it opened. But, there are still plenty of close connections.

“My father started coming down in 1915,” said Al Naldanbian, who at 90 years old is still running a flower stand at Stockton and Geary. “It’s a family tradition and it’s family pride. It’s a way of life and it’s on its way out.”

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

But, there still are plenty of people who subscribe to the way of life – 100 vendors are operating in the Flower Mart’s 135,000 sq. ft.

The San Francisco Flower Mart, one of only five such markets left in the United States, sees nearly $90 million in flower sales annually.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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