Biz Spotlight: River Valley Floral

Friday, June 07 at 10:10 AM
Category: Business Banking

River Valley Floral Distributors was established in January 2006 under the ownership of Jim Gaston. However, the business has been in operation in Fort Smith, Ark., since 1990 operating as a branch location of Southern Wholesale Florist. After the retirement of Jim’s parents in 2005, Jim and his brother, Jack Gaston, felt the company would be better served if each store was managed separately under independent ownership.

In the fall of 2007 plans for the long awaited new wholesale house were finalized and the building was completed in the summer of 2008. The following September, River Valley Floral* held its grand opening of the new location which introduced their customers to a more modern, efficient floral wholesaler.

The family’s history in the floral industry, which began in 1896 by Jim’s great-grandfather, J.W. Marshall, served as an inspiration for the showroom’s décor. The walls are lined with giant photographs ranging from the family’s first greenhouses in the early 1900s to a more recent 1971 photograph of Jim, his brothers (Al and Jack) and his sister (Daphne) in front of the first wholesale florist started by their father.

The main showroom has an open design with high walls, special lighting, polished floors and wider aisles between the high shelving which creates the effect of a “superstore warehouse.” The store has two equally impressive coolers. The main cooler holds the majority of the store’s cut flowers and surplus boxes. The receiving cooler stores the decorative greenery while still leaving ample room to receive trucks.

With all the new transitions, the management team has made several changes to better serve customers. Management is utilizing the internet to present specials, daily pricing, product photos, and links to vendors, farms, manufacturers and more. Keeping up with trends and marketing strategies on a daily basis is also an important part of their job. All other departments are stepping up to the plate to make sure River Valley Florist stays on top.

Arvest has been a great working partner with River Valley Floral. Arvest has enabled the floral distributor to grow its credit line and business accounts.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed. Find articles like this and much more in the online
Arvest Biz Center. Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
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