With her induction into the Hall of Fame, her reputation, just like her business, continues to grow.
Kumiko “Kate” Yoshihara was born a twin in Los Angeles, California in 1914. Born Kumiko Tabuchi, at three months of age she was sent to live with grandparents in Japan. Her parents brought her back to the United States when she was 13 to help with the family.
In 1934, she married Yasutaro Yoshihara, a family friend. They worked in the produce business together until World War II. At that time, because of their Japanese ancestry, the Yoshiharas were detained in a War Relocation Center and their property was confiscated. They were sent to the Amache camp in Colorado.
After the war, the Yoshiharas acquired a small greenhouse in Lafayette and opened a vegetable stand. By the 1960s the greenhouse was thriving, and people came from all over Boulder to buy fresh produce. Kate taught herself flower arranging and corsage making and began a flower shop in the greenhouse.
After her husband’s stroke in 1967, the family dropped the vegetable stand and concentrated on flowers and bedding plants. The business then became known as Lafayette Florist and Greenhouse Inc.
In 1988, it was named one of the top 12 independent garden shops by Nursery Magazine.