Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Nurse-turned-florist finds roots with Posies Flower Truck

Julie Peters's budding business will be making the rounds at special events in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch.

Julie Peters hosts her first pop-up event at The Green at University Town Center on April 13.
Julie Peters hosts her first pop-up event at The Green at University Town Center on April 13.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer
  • East County
  • Business
  • Share

A chance meeting at the St. Pete fishing pier caused Julie Peters to put her RV in park after four years on the road. 

It was love at first sight when Peters, a nurse-turned-florist, laid her eyes on the Posies Flower Truck.

It was 2022, and owner Stephanie Frank was preparing for a pop-up event at the pier. Peters beelined to the truck to offer up help and her telephone number. Frank called the next day. 

Two years later, Peters hosted her own pop-up event: a grand opening at The Green at University Town Center on April 13. 

Peters bought a truck from Frank, who purchased the business in 2021. Peters has since named the 1971 Volkswagen pickup “Wildflower.”

“People think I retrofit buses,” Frank said. “But Volkswagen made trucks back in the day. They took the bus chassis and made a truck version.” 

Wildflower is the newest model in the fleet. The rest of the single-cab pickups were manufactured in the 1960s. 

In addition to Peters’ Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch truck, there are seven more in the fleet — one in Oldsmar, one in Winter Park, three in the Tampa Bay area and two more are getting road ready or what Frank calls “Posie-fied.”

The Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch Posies Flower Truck is a 1971 Volkswagen pickup truck.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

Getting Posie-fied requires a tune-up, paint job, canvas top and enough buckets to load about 400 flower stems into the back. 

The trucks don’t deliver bouquets. They don’t do wedding arrangements. They deliver an experience. 

“It’s all about the experience of coming to the truck and picking your single stems,” Frank said. “Every week, it changes. We do seasonal flowers. Right now, we’re doing hydrangeas. We’re getting ready to do peonies. We bring things in from all over the world.”

As Peters rolled up the canvas cover, a strong and pleasant aroma wafted out into the air. She said the scent was coming from a bucket of free spirit roses. Another bucket was filled with king protea, an enormous, hand-sized bloom from South Africa. There were also buckets of sunflowers and snapdragons from a farm in Lakeland. 

Posies found a niche in private events like staff appreciation days and grand openings. Between pop-ups and private bookings, the trucks spend over 200 days a year on the road. 

Peters’ hasn’t sorted out the locations yet, but her plan is to hold two pop-ups a week. She’d like to be at UTC every Friday and rotate the other weekly pop-up in locations across Sarasota and Manatee counties. 

Put it in park

Being on the road is nothing new for Peters. As for driving a 53-year-old truck, she said it drives well as long as you can handle a stickshift. 

Before seeing a Posies truck at the pier, Peters had been traveling the country in an RV with her two dogs and three teenage kids. 

After living in San Antonio, Texas, for 16 years running his own construction company, Peters’ husband Don wanted to fly again. He’d been an Army pilot and was quickly hired by United Airlines.

Peters offered support and inspiration for the career change. She’d been a nurse for 20 years before opening a flower business because she wanted to do “something fun.” 

“When my husband told me we could live anywhere because he could commute, I was like okay, how about everywhere? Let’s just sell everything and travel,” Peters said.

The couple sold their home, then hit the open road and air. The family started on the West Coast, and traveled back through Texas and into Florida.

This king protea was flown in from a farm in South Africa.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

That’s when Peters met Frank and decided to settle down again. While waiting on Wildflower to be customized, the family spent their last year of a nomadic lifestyle traveling up and down the East Coast. 

Peters initially asked her husband if he thought she could take Wildflower on the road with them. He said, “No.” 

While the fleet is serviced regularly, and therefore reliable, Peters agrees that highway driving is not ideal in a 1971 flower truck. The pickup has no safety features, and even worse for Florida driving, there’s no air conditioning. 

After an epic five-year family vacation, the Peters kids are now grown. And they’ve all been taught how to drive a stickshift in case they need to help out with the truck. 

Don Peters is still flying, but he commutes to and from Ellenton now. 



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

Latest News