Jennifer Grove can pinpoint the precise moment she vowed to leave the event-planning industry: when she was pushing a cart of still-fresh wedding flowers toward a loading dock at the Four Seasons hotel in Baltimore in 2012. "I was looking at a sea of peonies, hydrangeas, and roses that had been enjoyed for a few hours and were headed for the trash," says the 43-year-old New Yorker. "There were tall centerpieces, cocktail hour arrangements, even a floral wall installation—it was so depressing to see. And I knew if it was happening here, it was happening in the ballroom next door, in the hotel down the street and around the world."

Sum It Up by Pat Summitt

Repeat Roses teammates restyle centerpieces into smaller arrangements for bedside tables.

Within two years, Grove had devised a way to interrupt the centerpiece-to-landfill pipeline and allow bouquets to blossom a bit longer. Her New York City–based business, Repeat Roses, picks up floral arrangements after events—"When guests go home, my team shows up to do the middle-of-the-night work"; arranges them into smaller displays; and donates them to cancer treatment centers, hospice care, and the like. "We're able to leave lovely bouquets for families at a women's shelter," says Grove, "or for a nursing home resident who's never had a visitor." And when the twice-enjoyed blooms have expired, Grove and her employees collect the flowers for composting and return vases to their inventory. "Otherwise," she says, "we'd just be moving trash from one point to another."

Sum It Up by Pat Summitt

A hospice patient in Brooklyn has her day brightened.

By the end of this year, Grove estimates Repeat Roses will have rescued arrangements from 1,000 parties—approximately 100 tons of flowers. "Monday mornings are my favorite," she says. "That's when we get the nicest letters, like one from a nonprofit director who told us how wonderful it was for patients and staff to walk in and see flowers. That's why we work hard."

By the Numbers
16 States—including California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia—to which Repeat Roses has brought its flower-saving services.

Photos: Courtesy of Repeat Roses


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