It All Started…in 1998 when our founder and president Tony Romani was just 20 years old. While attending the fall plant sale at the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida, destiny interrupted. Tony was there representing a teak garden furniture retailer while selling his services as a furniture refinisher. His neighbor at the show happened to sell Vanda orchids, and it was during that weekend that Tony became more and more captivated by these wondrous flowers.
Tony had never seen colors so bright and vivid, or a growth habit so unusual. “A plant that doesn’t need dirt? Get outta here!” he thought. By the end of the show, he had decided to take his meager salary and purchase his first Vanda for $50, even if it meant macaroni and cheese for dinner every night the the next week.
The next day, Tony took his orchid to work and hung it on an oak tree because his apartment, he found out, wasn’t a good grow spot for the Vanda. While hanging the plant, a good friend and orchid enthusiast told him to enjoy the flowers because he would never see them bloom again. He also informed Tony that Vandas are the hardest orchid to successfully grow and flower.
Taking this as a personal challenge, Tony decided to ignore his good friend’s advice and instead heed the advice of the vendor that sold him the plant. The vendor’s advice was to simply put the Vanda in a nice bright spot out of the reach of the full sun, water it heavily every day, and fertilize it once a week. Using these methods (and much to Tony’s surprise!) not only did the plant thrive, but it bloomed again a few weeks after its initial flowers had faded. At that point, he was hooked on Vandas.
At that point, Tony was hooked on Vandas.
Over the next couple of years, Tony went on a quest for knowledge. Although he only had a 10th grade education, Tony always had the ability to learn by immersing himself in his passions. It was soon clear that he was going down a path few other orchid growers have gone down. That path: to single-mindedly pursue perfection in Vanda culture.
He also found out that no other orchid growers he knew had any interest in assisting him in this pursuit. Many were set in their ways and we unwilling to share or teach anything other than common knowledge, like the “weekly-weakly” fertilizing rule.
Again taking that as a personal challenge, in 2001 Tony formed R&R Orchids with the intent of giving his customers what he dreamed was possible – premium plants, second to none customer service, and a free-flow of information, education, and first-hand experience on how to grow orchids.
These would become the distinguishing characteristics of his business as well. In mid-October of that same year, Tony officially opened for business at the West Palm Beach Greenmarket.
He realized that his business philosophy was exactly what the orchid world was in fact missing!
He was blown away by the response. Not only did he sell every orchid that he brought on the first day, but he was vindicated: he realized that his business philosophy was exactly what the orchid world was in fact missing!
Almost a decade has gone by and Tony has watched his beloved R&R Orchids grow from a small spark to a wildfire. In 2011 he partnered with a long time customer who shared his dream of changing the orchid industry while enjoying “mother nature at her finest.”
The newly formed R&R Orchids, LLC. purchased their 5-acre property in Loxahatchee, Florida that they work from today. Now with its unique two-tier greenhouse system, R&R Orchids has the capacity to grow nearly 100,000 square feet of Vandas and other select strands.
It is Tony’s intention to utilize the opportunities in front of him and company today to expand from a small size nursery to a cutting edge facility that is capable of producing first class orchids en masse that would satisfy even the most discriminating connoisseur…and now our story continues. R&R Orchids welcomes you to share in our passion.