Poppies, sweet peas, quince branch; oh my!
Tucked in amongst the industrial charms of Mount Pleasant, where cherry blossoms bloom in abundance, sits a tiny, yet incredibly charming storefront filled with poppies, mini daisies, eucalyptus, and sweet peas. The lovely locale? The Wild Bunch, the cutest flower shop in Vancouver.
It’s the perfect place to pick up flowers for your mom, your dinner host, or even yourself. An impressive assortment of natural bouquets align the windows, tables, and shelves—making it really hard to choose just the right bundle. This thanks to co-founders Alexandra Schulze and Nassi Soofi’s fondness for flowers.
Five years in (three years in the current space), they’re already an institution for those in the know (just ask the proprietors of local hotspots Kissa Tanto, St. Lawrence, and Ask For Luigi who depend on them for their weekly ”bunch”). “It’s been a journey, but a really fun and beautiful one,” says Nassi.
To find out what makes the shop so sweet, we sat down with Alexandra and Nassi (plus the newest member of the team: Nassi’s 6-week old daughter, Love) in their cozy office loft to chat Mother’s Day bouquets, quince branch, and flower TLC.
On how it all began:
Alexandra: “Nassi and I met when we were working at Wildebeest. We started talking about how we wanted to change our careers, and we figured out that we both had a passion for flower arranging.
“We were lucky we worked in the restaurant industry and had a lot of restaurants friends—we started out doing weekly flowers for our friend’s restaurants.”
Nassi: “And it just started growing and growing.”
On their wabisabi approach to bouquets:
Alexandra: “If you think of how things grow in the garden, not everything is perfect and the same. We like variety—different heights and textures; more of a natural approach. It’s the [non-traditional] combinations that we’re known for. We do use orchids and roses, but we pair them with a big piece of quince branch, or something you wouldn’t normally see. Right now quince is a favourite of ours; apple blossoms, cherry plum, dogwood…”
Nassi: “We also love all the different grasses in the summer and fall. And in the winter: all the local cut evergreens that we get.”
On Mother’s Day 2019 inspo:
Alexandra: “This year we’re doing more of a Dutch-style approach, where there are lots of different flowers. All our local farmers are starting up, so it will be really fun to get flowers from them rather than wholesale.
“We love designing in vases, too. [Next door neighbour] Janaki Larsen has a bunch of ceramics coming out. It’s always nice to buy a Janaki Larsen [vase] and get a bouquet in it.”
Flower tips and TLC:
Alexandra: “No direct sunlight. People always think ‘put the flowers in the sun, they need light,’ but that’s too much heat. [Instead], freshen the water with slightly cool water. Cut the stems every couple of days.”
Nassi: “Our bouquets are really interactive, so don’t just leave them and forget about them. Take things out that are dead. You can split the [flowers] into multiple vases. Spread them around your house. Play with them.”
Alexandra: “We use a lot of dryable flowers. Some things will dry really nicely, and you can make yourself a dried arrangement.”
Why flowers and friends make a good match:
Nassi: “We’re doing more and more workshops. They’re just a really good time to come together around a theme, and learn to arrange [flowers] in a natural way.”
Alexandra: “It’s a beginner’s class, too. Anyone can join.”
Nassi: “Everyone’s personal style comes out in the workshops. We all have the same ingredients, but then people, depending on their choices, walk away with completely different works. That’s really cool for us to see, and for people to tap into that with flowers is a cool medium.”
The Wild Bunch
7 E 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1M4
Photography by Francis Lai