The Greeley Farmers’ Market hosts many local vendors from across Weld County. One vendor that has made the market its home in recent years is Eden Herbs and Flowers. Founded in the 1980s, this family business offers flowers, herbs and a wide array of produce, including salads, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, squash and more.
Operated by Dean McElroy and his wife, the pair were inspired to begin the business because of their love of growing. “We’ve taken our hand at growing things since 1979 when we got our own little farm,” McElroy says. “There weren't really a lot of perennial growers at that time. It seemed like an opportunity for the two of us to try that.” The business is now featured exclusively and year-round at the Greeley Farmers’ Market.
Something that makes Eden Herbs and Flowers unique is its selection of produce that is both nutritious and delicious. “What we do with the salads is we blend together mustards along with sweet lettuces,” McElroy says. “You really can’t get that if you go to the supermarket. As I jokingly tell people, you don’t have to bury our salads in ranch dressing in order to be able to enjoy the flavor.” Another thing that makes the business unique is that its products are fresh, local and organic.“We don’t spray. We don’t artificially fertilize,” McElroy says. “It’s also picked the day before the market, so it’s fresh. It didn’t spend a week in transport coming to the Front Range from California or Mexico.”
Eden Herbs and Flowers is able to keep its high-quality products affordable by appealing to its niche market of organic consumers. “We’re not catering to a mass market,” McElroy says. “Not everybody is interested in organic food. Because we’re catering to a niche market, we’re not in competition with supermarkets.”
McElroy believes it’s important for people to have access to nutritious food in order to maintain their health. “I suspect that the rise in a variety of all sorts of ailments is directly caused by what people eat,” he says.
He hopes customers feel confident purchasing from Eden Herbs and Flowers knowing that the food is healthy, delicious, fresh, local and affordable. “There are people who want to know where their food is coming from so they can be assured that what they’re eating is the quality that they expect,” McElroy says. “If you can’t trust who the vendor is, how do you know what you’re eating?”
He enjoys building rapport with his customers so that they feel assured of the quality of his products. “I tell them what we do. I tell them what we grow. I tell them that we don’t use pesticides. I tell them when we pick it and they taste the difference,” McElroy said.
Although the selection of produce that the business offers differs throughout the year, their salads are available all winter long. “We have a client base of people who appreciate getting a fresh salad,” McElroy says.
“There are people who want to know where their food is coming from, so they can be assured that what they’re eating is the quality that they expect.” -Dean McElroy