By Matt de Simone
As spring continues to bloom in Botetourt, so do the fresh flowers growing on a farm in Fincastle.
Sarah Robinson Sowers started out growing flowers for her enjoyment before starting her business, Sarah’s Petals. For the past several years, she’s offered her cut flower arrangements at the local Botetourt Farmers Market.
“Everything that we sell at the Farmers Market, we grow,” Sarah said in a recent phone interview.
Sarah Petals is a family business. Sarah’s husband, Mark, helps with the cultivation and distribution. She describes her father, J.D. Robinson, as the business’ “groundskeeper.” Her daughters help out at the Farmers Market and with deliveries.
She explained that she grows the flowers from seeds or “plugs” (baby plants) on her parents’ farm at the corner of Poor Farm Road and Route 220. Sarah’s Petals offers a variety of flowers grown in cooler seasons and grown in warmer seasons. Her business has about three-quarter of an acre in production.
Sarah’s Petals’ selection of flowers changes throughout the season. Currently, Sarah offers Ranunculus, Bells of Ireland, and Dutch Irises. Later this summer, Zinnias, Celosia, Cosmos, and Sunflowers will be available.
Despite the pandemic, last year was Sarah’s best year of business. She attributes it a lot to her online store and deliveries.
“Last year, with people not being able to see all their family members and not being able to go and interact with people – they wanted to send flowers as a way to let them know they were thinking and caring about them,” Sarah explained.
Gov. Ralph Northam deemed farmers markets as essential businesses in 2020, which kept Sarah’s Petals growing.
“People were looking more inward [last year],” Sarah continued. “They wanted to send flowers to family members they couldn’t see.”
On Saturdays from now until October, Sarah Petal’s will be a presence at the Daleville Town Center market. Beginning last year, Sarah also sells flowers on the Roanoke Farmers Market in downtown Roanoke each Saturday. Customers may also find Sarah’s Petals at Bryant’s Orchard Farm Market in Daleville and through the online store at sarahspetals.com.