Derek Hoffbauer grew up growing vegetables on his family’s farm. As an adult, he traded the sweet corn, beans and potatoes for dahlias, sunflowers and peonies.
He and his wife, Brook, run Duluth Flower Farm. What started as a cut-flower business has evolved into a year-round florist and wreath operation.
The idea came when Derek's parents had been growing gladiolus. Derek started dahlias in the greenhouse, and there, they found a niche in the locally grown flower market. “Duluth’s a big wedding town,” he said.
Today, he and Brook grow a few veggies on their 20 acres, and they have more than 100 types of flowers, including lisianthus, dianthus, cosmos and ageratum.
Dahlias are their No. 1 specialty, he said.