Flower Fulfillment

By Sean Kenniff

By

Sean Kenniff
Flower Arrangements at Naomi Pomeroy's Colibri
Flower Arrangements at Naomi Pomeroy's Colibri

“As a little girl, I got in trouble for picking a giant, orange poppy,” says Chef Naomi Pomeroy, a Rising Stars alum and James Beard Award winner. “I didn’t know you shouldn’t pluck other people’s flowers. An old lady came out and yelled at me, and I knew it was the job for me.”
 
In summer 2017, Pomeroy fulfilled her childhood calling and opened Colibri, a small flower shop and studio in Northeast Portland not far from her famed Beast and groovy cocktail bar Expatriate. She supplies—and sometimes delivers herself—flower arrangements to the city’s top restaurants, including Tusk, as well as chic retail spots like Frances Mae and larger hotel accounts. Pomeroy also takes calls (with the help of husband and business partner Kyle Linden Webster) and arranges for weddings—just don’t ask for big round roses, Gerbera daisies, or concentrations of orange, yellow, or purple. And please, no feathers. “I like arrangements with a little more weight, that are hearty and playful. I can do moody, too,” she says. 

Pomeroy also is interested in the overlap between flower arranging and her first profession. “It’s super similar to cooking. The main difference is you don’t eat the arrangement in the end. Well, you eat it with your eyes. [In that way,] it’s like plating a dish. At Beast, we used to be very rustic and used less flourishes. Now we go above and beyond, taking serious consideration when plating. It must be beautiful but with intention,” she says, noting that the constant visual flow of Instagram has shifted how she views the presentation.

“My arrangements have a color family and texture. I love asymmetry, too. Colors go together the way flavors do—and some things just don’t go together. There’s a universality to it. After you eat a fish-based dinner, you don’t want to end with chocolate.” At the end of the day, Pomeroy “loves working with people who just want to trust me,” like the guests who have been coming to sit at her dining table for 11 years.  

PRO TIP
Pomeroy visited Japan during the summer of 2017. “They’re super sweet on dry flowers there and usually they know everything about trends and what’s coming—Japan makes trends. I’ve incorporated dried flowers into some arrangements. It’s a great way to recover costs.” 

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