Anna Zack’s purple hair and mask matched the lilacs on her dining room table. She attached labels to the flowers as her 1-year-old daughter slept upstairs and her 5-year-old son played with a Slinky. After Anna Zack loaded the vases in a box, her husband, Ben Zack, helped her bring them out to the truck.
For the next couple of hours, Anna Zack drove the “big orange Crush” -- her orange pickup -- around Ogden delivering flowers Saturday. She met her real estate agent in a Starbucks parking lot. “They’re beautiful!” he told her. Later, she left flowers on the front porch of a home, rang the doorbell and went on to the next customer on her list.
Home deliveries aren’t what Anna and Ben Zack, 35, expected to be doing when they started their business, Zack Family Farms, late last fall. The original plan was to grow and cut flowers for high-end events, weddings, wholesale florists and the local farmer’s market. But the couple had to adapt this spring when weddings and other large events were canceled due to limits on group sizes as part of social distancing guidelines during the spread of COVID-19.
“So, we’re kind of finding creative ways to deliver our flowers. I have to admit — it’s pretty fun,” Anna, 33, said.
For the past few weeks, they’ve been distributing flowers, mainly lilacs and tulips, around the Ogden area. To be safe, they decided to do non-contact deliveries, leaving flowers on front doorsteps. They started by bringing bouquets and arrangements to their circle of friends. Those friends then “painted us all over Instagram, and it spread,” Anna Zack said. Now, “we’re starting to get people we don’t know, which is really fun."
“There’s a lot of people out there stuck at home. ... Flowers on your front step kind of help that a little bit,” Anna Zack said.
Anna Zack made about a dozen Mother’s Day deliveries Saturday afternoon. She decides how many they can do based on the flowers they have available and what type of arrangements she can make from them. The couple has no floral design experience, though, so they’ve been figuring it out as they go.
“I enjoy putting flowers together, but I feel kind of like an imposter,” Anna Zack laughed.
On Friday, Anna Zack went to the family’s field, located in a central Ogden, to get what they’d need. Over the past few months, they’ve been cleaning up the lot, which is a little over an acre. “Now there’s flowers coming up,” she said.
Zack Family Farms had been a dream for the couple for most of their marriage. Anna Zack grew up on a small farm in Washington. Last year, they decided to go for it, “not knowing what the spring would bring with COVID,” she said.
Anna Zack’s two children, Nathan and Laurel, often join her when she’s tending the flowers. Her son picks all the dandelions he wants and some pre-approved flowers and “makes bouquets while I’m working, which is really sweet,” she said.
With Mother’s Day deliveries out of the way on Saturday, Anna Zack left Sunday open for herself. The family plans to put up a shed at the farm on Sunday. Anna Zack said she’s also like to go birding at Bear River.
Becky Jacobs is a Report for America corps member and writes about the status of women in Utah for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.