Carlos Franco, a third generation San Diego native and founder of Green Fresh Florals + Plants, has always been fascinated by nature. “From a young age, I was surrounded by plants,” he says. “I was lucky to have a grandmother who let me work in her gardens, teaching me how to make small bouquets from the flowers she grew.”
His first ever job was at a local nursery, before moving on to a small flower shop downtown. But after a few years he wanted to learn more about the European tradition of floral design and receive classical training, so he moved to Paris, where he worked with some of the most prestigious florists in the country, and then on to London, where he was asked to create a bouquet for the Queen for one of her public engagements. “Amazing that a young guy from the US would have such an opportunity in life!” Carlos reflects.
A few years after returning to the US, Carlos started his own business in San Diego and continues to draw inspiration from European floral and plant shops today. “But I always like to add my own contemporary interpretation,” he says.
“The majority of our products are locally grown here in California or in neighbouring Baja California. But we also import from all over the world. Our tropicals come from Costa Rica and Hawaii. For the finest tulips and other spring bulbs, we source from Holland, while we’ve also found interesting blooms from Australia and South America.”