Stop and Smell the Roses

Nevado RosesJohn Nevado’s floral company, Nevado Roses, has been specializing only in roses, importing them fresh and beautiful from Ecuador, since 1965. Nevado also created an international online magazine, I Love Roses (, for other florists and flower enthusiasts. The magazine posts everything from DIY crafts and tutorials, planning floral arrangements for your wedding, and making rose martini cocktails. For everything you could possibly need to know about roses, we skyped with the man himself, John Nevado, and he gave us the inside scoop on Nevado Roses.

Nevado Roses is one of the most prestigious rose-growers in the world,” John explains. “There are couple of hundred [others] around the world, but we aim for the ultra-high end so we do only rose varieties that really appeal to the high end and mainly bridal work. We are a Spanish extraction so we are from Spain, but we established our company some 20 years ago in Ecuador of Latin America. We produce for the world market and the U.S. is one of our strongest markets.”

Q: Why do you specialize in just roses? What do roses mean to you and to the company, specifically?

A: So roses are the queen of flowers, you know. It’s the most beautiful flower. You know, when a bride dreams of her wedding bouquet, it often involves roses of some kind and when she thinks of her wedding, as many wives, brides, do from a very young age, it involves roses at the wedding somehow so maybe that evolves later to something different, but often the general picture is roses. Why are we involved in roses? From a business perspective, it’s the most profitable flower you can grow, per square meter, if you want, and we have extensive knowledge since the early ‘60s in the rose field.

Q: And I was looking on your website and you have all different sorts of roses, the tinted roses and all these different dyed roses so what would you say is your best seller out of all of them?

A: It’s been, for a couple of years, the garden type rose, which you know, marks back to how you were brought up and roses that you may have grown up in your grandmother’s garden, something like that. So that’s been extremely popular. I believe, we’re not leaving that trend, but we’re going to see much stronger, solid colors. This often correlates with the economy picking up. You know, in the ‘80s we really loved strong, solid, almost neon colors, and we’re seeing a lot more of that, the sort of bi-color garden rose has been done a little bit. But it’s still an extremely strong trend and I think almost every bridal bouquet you see involves a garden rose. You know, I was just looking at—I’m Swedish, half Swedish, and half Spanish—and I was just looking in a gossip magazine yesterday about the youngest Swedish prince. He got married and of course the bride had a garden rose bouquet. Fantastic.

in Beijing, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (Vita Flora PhotoChristina Hu)

Q: What goes into dying process of the roses? From start to finish, how does that work?

A: We’re the biggest in the world in dying roses. It’s basically, you take the stem and you cut it from below, and you make two cuts, and then you separate those pieces, and put one in blue, one in green, one in yellow, or whatever you need, up to four colors. So you can do, for a wedding, if you have a logo or a color theme chosen then you can carry that out in the specific colors. We even work in Pantone colors for designers so if it’s Pfizer that’s launching a new drug, then we can do the exact Pfizer color and the same for a wedding. You know how brides can be pretty particular about the exact salmon color, so that we can do. Nevado Products
Q: With the magazine and everything that you’ve posted on the website, what inspired you to branch out from floral arrangements? I noticed that you have a couple tutorials up there and things like that so what inspired you to branch out from just floral arrangements and do the magazine?

A: The magazine, we’re ramping it up. There isn’t really a beautiful place for rose appreciation on the web so I would like the magazine to be a place where you can go for beautiful photography, primarily, and then tips and tricks on how to deal with roses. It will ultimately involve anything rose so garden roses to how to treat your plants at home through to bridal work, bouquet making, etc. etc. And I will sell, so I already sell flowers online and I will start selling other products… I make 20 different products from roses so rose marmalade, rose honey, rose chocolate, things like that and those are sold through the website and some of the articles on the website involve the products.
Q: So you mentioned before you have a couple different shops. Where would you say is your most popular shop?

A: I have shops in Latin America. The shop that does the best is in the international airport of Quito [Mariscal Sucre International Airport] in Ecuador because a lot of tourists come through—200,000 tourists come through that airport—and they know that Ecuador is a strong producer of roses so a lot of people buy roses and bring them with them. So I’m looking to expand that network of shops, in airports specifically.

Q: Have you gotten a sense of your biggest demographic from that shop?

A: Yeah, the target group for that shop and my product and the roses is ladies, women from 25 to 65, and mainly ladies that buy every week, the recurring purchase that we’re looking for so my sales website and the company may be focused on bridal but really, the big business [is in] recurring purchases.

Q: What would you say is most unique about your services and your company as opposed to competitors? Why would people pick you over a different rose company or a different floral company in general?

A: It is stellar quality, but then service and reliability. If you’re [a] wedding organizer, then you can’t have screw ups because the date is pretty final so just reliability. I think, wedding organizers, if you screw up once, they leave you. So reliability, I think. And we have the full. I mean, if you want anything roses, we have 70 different colors, plus the tinted ones so it’s infinite, I guess.

John gave us some insight on what working in the rose world of weddings is like with anecdotes from a recent event. “I just did a 12,000 roses wedding two weekends ago,” he says, “and that may sound like a lot, depending on who you are and or not much. Even 12,000 roses can disappear in a wedding if you make small little arrangements everywhere, in the bathrooms and whatnot. My first tip is often, you know, stages. Really stage them. So I got this couple to make a rose wall with their logo on it. When you go to a fancy gala, they have that photo backdrop with the logo so they made that from roses so it was very photo friendly. And then maybe an arch behind the wedding couple because that’s a lot of what people look at. Then you’re talking, for the rose wall, maybe 4,000 roses and for the arch, maybe 700, 2,000. A few monumental pieces. And another tip would be, maybe old school, but perhaps think about recycling through the days of the wedding so having mobile units that you can use the first day and then in another setting the next day. The photo wall, in this case, was taken down in four pieces and then you can truck it to somewhere else. And you know, always use ice cold water to preserve the roses.”

If your dream wedding bouquet involves roses or if you need tips for the rose bush in your backyard, John Nevado of Nevado Roses ( is sure to make your roses as beautiful and vibrant as you’ve envisioned. Nevado China Cosmo

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