Flower Shopping at the Flower Market in Los Angeles

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I had seen pictures of people shopping at the Flower Market in Los Angeles before and it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. 

My dear friend Wendy from WMDesign House took me and what ended up being the whole family on such a fun field trip to the Los Angeles Flower Market located in the heart of Downtown LA

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Getting to the Market

The market is open from 4 am to 12 pm Monday – Thursday and from 4 am to 2 pm on Friday and 5 am – 2 pm on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday. The first four hours during the week are ” to the trade” only. Wendy and her husband are card-carrying badge members so we could have been there at 4. However, we were lucky to get the whole family out the door (including a 4-month-old baby) before 8 am. The baby by the way was the most cooperative of the whole bunch. 

My cute little Grandson and his Auntie Em loving the flowers

We rendezvoused with Wendy at the LA Zoo where we parked so we could cut down on the number of cars and ended up with 2 cars instead of 4. Wendy took us on our own private cultural tour on our way to this southern California flower market. We went through Chinatown. She also pointed out the fashion district where I understand they sell fabric and the jewelry district which are both in the same general vicinity. The area where the flower market is also is where many of the homeless in southern California are. It’s near the LA Mission which is a place for the unhoused population to get meals and assistance. If you ever have a chance to visit, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and know what to expect.

We parked in the rooftop parking of Moskatel’s which is located at 733 San Julian St. There was a parking fee (around $10) and they only accepted cash. There is also a secure rooftop parking structure located on the west side of San Julian St., between 7th and 8th Streets over the Original Flower Market. It’s my understanding that there is also street parking however the parking garage was convenient and had stairs that took us right into the mart.

If you don’t have a badge there is a $2 entrance fee into the mart for the general public.

The LA Flower District

In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined how extensive the LA Flower Mart could be. I was expecting one store. Boy was I mistaken. We started at Moskatel’s which is a huge warehouse full of vendors. An interesting fact is that this was the original Michael’s.

Once we had finished going through much of this building we wandered outside. The flower district is not just one building like I had envisioned. The surrounding six-block area is full of other floral businesses. 

Once we had visited a few of the other smaller shops we headed over to the Original LA Flower Market.

The Original Los Angeles Flower Market

The Original Los Angeles Flower Market located on Wall Street is a 55,000-square-foot warehouse with over 35 vendors inside.  It had two stories and by this point, we were quite overwhelmed. But we carried on. We didn’t let being overwhelmed stop us from taking in everything about a flower lover being in our own dream world. 

What You Can Expect Inside the Mart

Inside the mart and the shops, your sense are overwhelmed with all the different varieties of fresh flowers. Many of the flowers were from local California flower growers but some of the flowers were clearly imported from other countries. The prices we paid were a fraction of the price that we are used to here at home. There were so many good deals. We didn’t just find flowers, we found vases, and vessels, of every shape and size along with every sort of floral accessories. The faux flowers looked like the real thing.

If I ever visit again, I’m bringing an empty suitcase to get more things home as there are such great prices on everything. 

While there were clearly mostly general public shoppers when we were there, it is obviously the place where retail florists, event planners, and wedding planners would go to get what they need to create beautiful floral arrangements. I’m sure that they get there when the doors open to get the best possible flowers.

Our top priority was to find flowers for the event that we were hosting on Saturday. Our son Kenny married the love of his life Mila in a small private ceremony so we were in California to celebrate their union. We also met her family for the first time.

With the wide variety of flowers that were available, it made shopping a bit crazy. Thankfully Wendy has an eye for floral arranging and helped us make the best selections. She also did the arranging for us at her home as she had all the proper supplies.

Favorite Flower Arranging Supplies

The Rich History of the Los Angeles Flower District

When I got home I did some research about the flower market. The Original Los Angeles Flower Market traces its roots back to 1919 when it was established as the American Florists’ Exchange by a visionary group of 30 European-American growers. These enterprising individuals aimed to revolutionize the sale and distribution of freshly harvested flowers to local florists and nurseries in a more efficient manner. Initially housed in a modest garage on Winston Street near Fifth, adjacent to the Southern California Flower Growers, the fledgling American Florists’ Exchange quickly gained traction.

In the early 1920s, the burgeoning flower markets relocated to more spacious accommodations across the street from each other. The American Florists’ Exchange found its permanent residence on the 700 block of South Wall Street, thanks to a modest five-hundred-dollar loan and the foresight of its first board of directors. From these humble beginnings sprouted the legendary floral destination we know today.

Over the decades, the Original Los Angeles Flower Market has embraced innovation and expansion, leading to breakthroughs in horticulture, greenhouse technologies, refrigeration, transportation, and communications. These advancements have propelled the floral industry into a global enterprise, while also establishing enduring floral traditions that transcend generations.

Beyond its role in the floral industry, the market symbolizes the immigrant experience and the pursuit of the American dream. Immigrant families found solace and opportunity within its walls, transforming their aspirations into thriving businesses. Through hard work, dedication, and a deep-rooted love for flowers, these entrepreneurs forged a vibrant and inclusive community that continues to thrive today.

Since its inception, the Original Los Angeles Floral Market has evolved alongside the city, reflecting shifts in consumer preferences and industry trends. From its bustling beginnings in the 1920s to its adaptation to technological advancements in the mid-twentieth century, the market has remained a vital link between growers and retailers.

In Conclusion

It was so much fun checking off another bucket list item. Visiting this popular flower market was something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I don’t think that there is anything quite like it anywhere else in the entire United States. In the Chicago area, we don’t have anything like this. My guess is that retail florist rely on delivery for all of their floral needs. 

The girls and I left thinking we needed to open a fun little floral shop 🙂

Peace and Love,

Meet Me

I’m an Interior Designer, Professional Organizer, and Party Planner who lives in the suburbs of Chicago in a 1,300 sq., ft., home with my “Handy” husband, Keith.

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4 Comments

  1. What a fun day that must have been. Gorgeous flowers and the best company. Thanks for taking us along!

    1. Hi Maria – It was so much fun. So much bigger than I ever imagined. Wish I had the same resources here in Illinois.

  2. The flower market looks amazing! One of these days, I’m going!

    1. It was so much fun! We should do a creative retreat in LA some day!