Next Generation Brings Willow Hill Farm's Flower Truck Back To Main Street
JohnCarl McGrady •
Five years after the passing of its founder, Rose Webb, Willow Hill Farm’s flower truck has returned to Main Street. Brought back by her sons Clayton and Hollis Webb and Hollis’s wife Abergavenny Webb, the truck carries a selection of locally grown, sustainably farmed flowers, reviving an island tradition.
“[It’s] really exciting,” said florist Abergavenny Webb. “I was a little apprehensive, but it’s really wonderful to be downtown. Everyone loves flowers.”
After his mother’s passing, Hollis Webb held onto the permit she used to sell her flowers on Main Street, and last week was the first time the truck returned to its old location in years.
Hollis Webb recounted that in the late 80s, his mother started growing flowers in her backyard on Nantucket. A few years later, his father built her a small greenhouse, and soon after that, she started selling her flowers on Main Street out of the back of her old Chevy.
“My mom was like a super old-school badass lady from Jersey, and she’d have a smoke hanging out of her mouth in the greenhouse putting together these amazing flower arrangements,” Hollis Webb said. “She had this incredible natural talent. I don’t know where it came from.”
“[Willow Hill Farm] was pretty much a big part of my childhood,” he added.
For much of his childhood, Rose Webb raised him and his four siblings as a single mother. While she did hold other jobs, Hollis Webb said that her primary source of income was the flower business, and that was the job she truly loved. She kept the business going for years until cancer prevented her from continuing.
“The business was her heart and soul,” Hollis Webb said.
Now seemed like the right time to bring Willow Hill Farm back. Two years ago, Abergavenny Webb gave birth and decided that she didn’t want to keep working as a waitress while trying to raise her child.
“I wanted to make my own schedule and do something that is more organic and family-friendly and get back into the earth,” she said.
"There have been so many local businesses closing their doors recently, so anytime you see a piece of old Nantucket come back, it’s a huge win for everyone,” Hollis Webb added.
For his brother Clayton, this is the realization of an old dream. Clayton Webb grows most of Willow Hill’s flowers just a mile from their Main Street location, and all three Webbs are dedicated to keeping the business local and sustainable. In fact, the permit that lets them park their truck on Main Street specifies that they can only sell locally grown flowers.
For now, the Webbs will only be selling their flowers on Main Street, Thursday through Saturday between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM, though they hope to have longer hours soon.