Raising money with flowers

Veseys Seeds in York, Prince Edward Island, tests most varieties it sells. Purple is the current colour of choice among many gardening enthusiasts.  |  Karen Morrison photo

YORK, P.E.I. — Venturing into the U.S. fundraising market has been a risk worth taking for Veseys Seeds.

Business has been strong enough since the seed and gardening supply company acquired Flower Power Fundraising last year to support new office and call centre staff.

“It’s good for business and good for local people wanting jobs,” said Shaun Patterson, Veseys’ online marketing co-ordinator.

“It’s growing alongside of everything else, but not at the expense of anything else,” he said, citing Veseys’ business in seeds, bulbs, accessories and equipment for gardens and golf courses.

Patterson said Flower Power is similar to the Canadian fundraising arm of Veseys, which has offered catalogue sales of seeds and bulbs to groups for 30 seasons and is the largest flower fundraiser in Canada.

Deanna Derbyshire of the United Church board in Kelvington, Sask., said the church has used Veseys’ campaigns for two years to support its operating expenses.

“We’re always looking for ways to add some pennies to the coffers,” she said.

The charity keeps 50 percent of total sales, with Veseys offering spring and fall catalogues, support, resources and deliveries to customers.

“A school would never have to get a big order in, sort it out and deliver it,” said Patterson.

“We are a one stop shop for them.”

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