John LaSalle, LaSalle Florists

2009 Local Hero Awardee

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Now celebrating 75 years in operation, LaSalle Florists is proof that careful stewardship and a commitment to community involvement are a good recipe for business longevity and success.

LaSalle is well known for their longstanding connections to the local community, often contributing flowers for events ranging from CISA’s annual meeting to the local elementary school’s annual 6th grade Spaghetti Supper.  They’re the only place to get locally grown flowers—beautiful, sweet-smelling freesias—for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day.

John LaSalle estimates that a switch from oil to wood chips to heat his greenhouses has saved over 750,000 gallons of oil.  And the business has implemented an Integrated Pest Management program that reduced their use of pesticides to less than 5% of previous levels.  While taking these steps to improve their environmental practices, the LaSalles have also preserved a rare entity in this age of global florist trade—a local wholesale flower producer, selling field-grown and greenhouse flowers locally and regionally.

LaSalle Florists is an active member of the Local Hero program, which they credit with expanding local outlets for their flowers and plants.

“Ninety percent of our flowers used to leave the area.  For me, that’s the main part about CISA—it’s all about community, and bringing farming back to the local economy.”

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