BOGOTA, Colombia: The global flower industry has lost a true friend. Industry veteran, floral industry icon, visionary entrepreneur, Peter Ullrich, passed away on June 29 surrounded by loved ones after a difficult battle with cancer.
Peter was born in Bad Wildungen, Germany in 1942 where his parents operated a small flower shop. He moved to the United States in 1962 with just $200 and a dream. In the late 60’s, along with many other part time jobs, he began to make extra money wholesaling flowers. Twice a week Peter would drive his tiny MGB to the airport and load up the little car with two or three boxes of flowers and sell them from store to store.
In 1972, Peter was one of the first growers to establish a presence in Latin America opening Flores Esmeralda in Medellin Colombia. Over the next 4 decades he expanded his growing empire to include additional Esmeralda farms and breeding operations in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Africa. Marketing arms for these farms were opened in Miami and Holland. His farms and companies have supported tens of thousands of families throughout these countries over the past 44 years. Outside of flowers, he has been involved in other Entrepreneurial endeavors including serving as the CEO of EAU technologies, a groundbreaking company that is the world’s leading provider of empowered water.
Honors Peter received include the 2006 Society of American Florists Gold Medal Achievement award and the 2008 WFFSA’s LTK distinguished service award. His unparalleled passion and vision were an inspiration to all of those who had the opportunity to know him.