Who We Are
Hi there, I'm Drew Groezinger and allow me to tell you our story.
When I was a young child, I would spend the weeks of my summer vacations beside my great-grandmother Lillian. We would tend to the gardens at our family's dairy farm that was settled six generations ago in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. It was during these moments that Great-Grandma instilled in me the value of caring -- caring for something as small as a carrot seed and tending to its every need in order to harvest the crop to feed our families. Right then, I knew I was hooked on agriculture.
When I was eleven years old, I decided I wanted a garden of my own. I shared my vision with my father and a spark was lit in our eyes. At first we just grew produce for our family and close friends, but it soon grew to become more. By my eighth grade year, I was selling produce to our entire neighborhood as well as at local farmers markets, but I didn't stop there. By the time I graduated high school, I had built my produce operation (Groezinger Produce Farm) to selling at local farmers markets, selling wholesale products to local restaurants, and serving local families through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program all with the help of my friends and family. Great-Grandma Lillian was so incredibly proud of what I had grown, and who I had become.
Throughout the later years of my great-grandmother's life, I would often bring her flowers that I grew, and we would examine each little bloom. She always loved the orange flowers. During one of our last visits, she shared with me her love of Dahlias. We immediately dove into her memories of growing the luscious blooms, sharing them with her loved ones, digging them up after a heavy frost had come, and dividing and storing them over winter. Just two short months later, in September 2015, she was called home to be with the Lord and my Great-Grandpa Ralph to rest in eternal peace.
In the fall of 2015, after the first frost, I gathered up my few scraggly dahlia tubers, packed them away as Great-Grandma had said and began preparing something beautiful.
In an attempt to create a meaningful name, I went to something meaningful to me -- family. My dearest friend Olivia, who played an incredible part in my life, was closest to me during the early stages of this farm. One evening I sent her a note asking her to tell me the name of a woman from her families past that she had never gotten to meet, but felt a strong connection to. She responded with Clara, her great-great grandmother, and then asked the same of me. My response was Joyce. Joyce Groezinger was my father's mother. She passed away from cancer in the early 90's before I was born. Though I never had the privilege to meet these strong-willed women, I knew their names had created the perfect name -- Clara Joyce Flowers.
With a name planted and a crop ready to hit the soil, we had embarked on a adventure.
Presently, Clara Joyce Flowers primarily grows Dahlias for wholesale cut flower production as well as for tuber sales to other farmers, gardeners, and dahlia lovers nationwide. Our cut flowers and foliage are sold to local wedding and event designers, local grocery stores, regional floral wholesalers, and the are even used in our own wedding and event designs.
Farm Tours: Send us an email or a private message to set up a group farm tour.
Facebook: Clara Joyce Flowers