The Zappettini family has its roots in San Francisco and the floriculture business for three generations. William A. Zappettini, Sr. emigrated from Genoa, Italy during the First World War and started work in the nursery business in Colma and later expanded into the wholesale florist business based in San Francisco. He launched the William Zappettini Company in 1921, which became a leading national wholesale florist with branches across the United States.
In 1954, William purchased property at the corner of 5th and Brannan in San Francisco and was instrumental in attracting the local flower cooperatives to purchase the adjacent sites which, still houses today the San Francisco Flower Mart. Later William expanded into the nursery business in Half Moon Bay.
William’s two sons Bill and Reno expanded the business into greenhouse rose nurseries in Watsonville, and together with their father in the 1970’s purchased several commercial properties and parcels of land. With local partners, the Zappettini brothers developed the Mountain View Industrial Park on their land at Terra Bella Avenue in Mt View where they built twelve industrial properties. Through the third generation of John, the family continues to expand their real estate portfolio through new acquisitions, repositioning of existing properties and commercial development projects throughout the Bay Area.
In the 1980s Bill and Paula Zappettini launched Brannan Wholesale Florist at the San Francisco Flower Mart. In addition to offering locally grown flowers and plants, Brannan Street became known for it’s imported flowers from around the world. In the early 2000’s The Zappettini family sold their ownership interest to the management and employees. Today Brannan Street remains one of the anchor tenants of the San Francisco Flower Mart.
In the 1990s, Bill Zappettini gained local notoriety on the radio. On open Flower Market days, Bill would call into KCBS to provide a market report of which flowers were in season and available.
In the 2000s, John Zappettini relocated to Europe to pursue the consolidation of the Flower-by-wire industry. Similar to 1-800 Flowers and FTD, John recognized the fragmentation of the business across the individuals countries in Europe. John launched NextFlora in the Netherlands, a country with a long established floral industry. NextFlora partnered with several European flower-by-wire operators for the delivery of flowers and gifts throughout Europe. One of these operators was EuroFlorist, based in Sweden that managed a large network of established florists throughout Northern Europe. EuroFlorist purchased NextFlora and for 6 years, John worked with the founders of EuropFlorist to acquire other flower-by-wire operators across Europe. Before returning to San Francisco in 2008, John assisted EuroFlorist in recapitalizing the company with a new investor group. Today, EuroFlorist is the market leader in Europe with a global flower delivery network of over 54,000 florists and an annual revenue of over $100 million.