Residents of Springfield may be familiar with the sight of a pastel blue 1970 Volkswagen truck hauling flowers around the city. The truck, nicknamed “Stella,” was what Cassie Hartman needed to start curating a blooming flower business known as Ozark Mtn Flower Truck.
Inspiration for a flower truck business struck Hartman, a Springfield native, in 2010 during a semester abroad in Spain. Drawn to the open-air markets and flower stands she passed by as she walked home everyday, Hartman wanted to bring that same “big city” feeling to others back home.
“I’ve always loved flowers,” Hartman said, smiling. “I had a rose garden in junior high, so I’ve always loved the whole flower world and have always been interested in the creative world. I threatened to go to art school in college.”
Hartman got her degrees in psychology and nursing at the University of Missouri; however, her love for flowers and art was overwhelming and lead her to pursue the idea of a flower truck business.
It wasn’t until 2017 when Hartman used a random day off to set her plan in motion.
“I was working at Mercy, and I had a day off,” Hartman said. “I drank way too much coffee, so my mind was whirling. I somehow came up with this idea, and I wanted to see if it would work.”
Since kick-starting the flower truck business on her own, Hartman has hired three part-time employees, accumulated 12.4 thousand Instagram followers, and occupied a garage and an acre of land where her business grows their own flowers.
Haiden Stipp, senior art major at MSU, was the first person Hartman hired onto her team as truck operations manager. Hartman said Stipp was a frequent visitor of the truck and created beautiful bouquets, making her perfect for the position.
“I enjoy working for Cassie because she made my dream job,” Stipp said. “I am able to use my creativity and love for color to create bouquets from flowers that change everyday.”
Along with attending a variety of events around Springfield, Ozark Mtn Flower Truck offers subscription plans and workshops to the public. Hartman said it’s a good way to get to know her customers.
Danielle Staples, sophomore wildlife conservation and management major, is one of her customers and said she loves the truck.
“The workers are always super friendly and helpful,” Staples said. “I enjoy going because you can personalize your own bouquet, and it’s a good price for the quality flowers they have.”
Hartman said most of the business’s income comes from daily sales at public events at places like Commercial Street and local coffee shops. The romantic gesture of buying flowers for a loved one seems to be the source for a large portion of sales.
“We do have a lot of guys who come to the truck wanting to get flowers for a date that night,” Hartman said. “I think what our truck is doing is allowing the guys to let the person know they personally picked that out, and it’s not just something they grabbed out of a glass display case. It makes it a little more personal, and the fact that whoever is buying the flowers looked up where the truck was is a little more personal.”
Stipp said the flower truck has not only been a dream come true for her, but also a “light for Springfield.”
“It brings joy to people building and receiving the flowers because they’re high quality and not blooms you’ll find in a grocery store,” Stipp said. “I’ve also really loved seeing how it helps out local farmers. Cassie works really hard to grab as much local as possible.”
Hartman plans to keep the truck open until the first weekend in December, if the weather permits. For those planning to stop by for a bouquet, Hartman said, “Remember to change the water, please.”